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Kelsey Plum says Diana Taurasi offered her introduction into the league

Kelsey Plum #10 of Team Wilson smiles with WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert after receiving the WNBA All-Star MVP award after the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game on July 10, 2022 at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kelsey Plum recently stopped by Kevin Hart’s Cold as Balls series to talk about her introduction to the league, as well as the fight for pay equity.

Plum says that while she entered the league as a college standout, it took some time to earn people’s respect.

“They were trying to kill me, I was humbled very quickly,” Plum says. “Growing up, I loved Diana [Taurasi]. That was kind of why I started playing basketball.”

During a game against the Phoenix Mercury, Plum says that Taurasi gave her something of an introduction into the league.

“I’m guarding Diana, it’s like a dead ball. She’s looking at me, she’s like ‘Hey Plummy, how you doing?’” she says. “And I’m like, a little phased. Ball comes in, she looks at me, elbows me in the stomach, hits a three and then winks at me.

“I was like, what just happened?”

Since then, however, Plum has come into her own in the WNBA. The 2022 season was her best, with the guard averaging 20.2 points and 5.1 assists per game. It was also the first season in which she started all of the games in which she played.

She’s also grown into an advocate for the league’s players, speaking with Hart about pay disparity and the narrative surrounding women’s sports that male professionals are just there to “support.”

“The top players in the league, they’re taken care of. Not only by their salaries but endorsements, opportunities, off the court things,” she says. “It’s that middle section that really suffers, because the league is trying to say after this year, you can’t go overseas.”

But as the league’s profile increases, she wants to see narratives change.

“I want to have you come to an Aces game because you want to watch me play,” she says. “You’re not there to support me. And I think that’s the narrative that needs to change in the media.”

And as for her WNBA All-Star MVP trophy, Plum says initially she “didn’t really notice” its size until she saw how the size differed from Steph Curry’s.

“That thing was huge,” she said. “So then I was like, that didn’t set women forward at all.”

You can watch the entire episode below: