(Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

Phoenix Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard apologized on Friday for her comments about the All-Star game in which she said that it “will not be an All-Star Game because Diana Taurasi is not there.”

Her comments further raised eyebrows when Mercury star Skylar Diggins-Smith tweeted out a clown emoji – the latest in a series of heated exchanges between Diggins-Smith, Taurasi and Nygaard.

“Didn’t mean to take away from Sky or any of the other All-Stars,” Nygaard said on Friday. “Our team is super excited for Sky. I apologize if my comments took away from that. If it was the other way around, I would stick up for Sky as well.

“We’ve addressed it as a team and we’re moving forward.”

The comments about the All-Star game on Thursday had been a departure from prior comments made about Diggins-Smith’s selection. On Tuesday the guard was named as one of 12 reserves for the game, which will take place in Chicago.

Ahead of the Mercury’s win on Wednesday night, Nygaard had called Diggins-Smith’s All-Star selection a “tremendous accomplishment” and that she was “really, really happy for Skylar.”

“She’s been having a great year statistically across the board for us, and everything she does for us battling every single game, I’m really happy to see Skylar being named an All-Star,” she said. “It’s a great testament not just to her, but our team.”