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Mercury coach wants to ‘mute the noise’ after team’s contentious week

(Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

Vanessa Nygaard is looking to reset after an eventful week for the Phoenix Mercury.

The commotion began Thursday when remarks made by the Mercury coach regarding Diana Taurasi’s All-Star snub were posted to the team’s social media. Nygaard said it “will not be an All-Star Game because Diana Taurasi is not there.”

Phoenix star and All-Star participant Skylar Diggins-Smith seemed to take this as a slight to her own credentials, responding to the remarks on Twitter with a clown emoji.

On Friday, Nygaard apologized, telling reporters she “didn’t mean to take away from Sky or any of the other All-Stars.” The Mercury coach also apologized directly to Diggins-Smith, adding that the team had addressed the situation and moved forward.

Nygaard reflected on the action-packed week with reporters following the Mercury’s 91-75 loss Saturday to the Chicago Sky.

“I think in the world we live in, muting the noise is almost impossible. I don’t have social media, so that helps me mute the noise, especially the last couple days,” Nygaard said. “I think it’s a reality of life, and I think you have to choose what things you listen to and what you believe. The person you hear the most from is yourself, and so you have to always focus on how you’re talking to yourself and how you should be listening to yourself.”

While Nygaard admits that Phoenix wasn’t at their best against Chicago, they came to the match prepared to give it their all.

“I think our players do a good job of being professionals and doing their jobs and showing up and making sure that when the ball is tipped, they’re going to compete.”

Diggins-Smith led all scorers with 25 points, adding four rebounds and three assists, while Diamond DeShields notched 21 points and nine rebounds against her former team.

The Mercury is now 10th in the league standings with a 9-13 record on the season. Phoenix will look to get back in the win column when they face off against the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday.