Tina Charles (31) shoots in the second half of a game while playing for the Phoenix Mercury on June 17 in Arlington, Texas. Charles, a five-time first-team all-WNBA center, signed with the Seattle Storm on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Tina Charles (31) shoots in the second half of a game while playing for the Phoenix Mercury on June 17 in Arlington, Texas. Charles, a five-time first-team all-WNBA center, signed with the Seattle Storm on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Storm sign former MVP Tina Charles

The 33-year-old center joins a roster that now has 4 former No. 1 overall picks.

  • By Wire Service
  • Tuesday, June 28, 2022 6:06pm
  • SportsStorm

By Tim Booth / Associated Press

SEATTLE — Tina Charles’ quest for an elusive WNBA title has brought her to Seattle following a messy end to her brief time in Phoenix.

The Storm signed the five-time first-team all-WNBA center for the rest of the season on Tuesday, three days after she was let go by Phoenix in a messy divorce from the Mercury.

Charles didn’t give specifics as to what led to her separation from the Mercury, saying she was looking ahead at the opportunity provided in Seattle.

“I have a small window and there’s a way that I want to play with the time I have left playing. There’s the way I want to be coached,” Charles said. “So just knowing about the culture here, having good relationship with Sue (Bird) made it really easy when just looking at the window and being at the halfway mark of the season and just what I’m trying to accomplish.”

Charles, 33, was averaging 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 16 games this season with the Mercury before the sides agreed to end her contract last weekend. She’s expected to make her debut with Seattle on Wednesday night against Las Vegas.

The WNBA’s leading scorer last season with Washington, Charles signed with Phoenix in February, a day after the Mercury added Diamond DeShields in a three-team trade with Chicago and New York. The additions were expected to give the Mercury a huge boost to a roster that already had Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith.

Griner has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17 after authorities at an airport outside of Moscow said she had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her bag. She faces trial starting Friday.

Even with the addition of Charles, the Mercury struggled badly.

“It was extremely hard because the decision that I made didn’t just impact my life, but it impacted those in Phoenix and it’s something I think about all the time,” Charles said. “But at some point you do what’s best for you and your career and what you’re trying to get out of it.”

Charles will become the fourth overall No. 1 pick on the Storm roster along with Bird, Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart. All four played on the U.S. team that won gold at last year’s Olympics.

Charles averaged a career-high 23.4 points last season with the Mystics. She was the league MVP in 2012.

“We are excited to add one of the premier players in our league to our roster,” Storm coach Noelle Quinn said. “Tina is a prolific scorer who brings veteran experience and adds depth to our front court. We look forward to seeing the immediate impact she can make for our team.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

First year Mariner football head coach Tyler Tuiasosopo gathers his team for a talk between drills during practice Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, at Mariner High School in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mariner ushers in new era with coach Tyler Tuiasosopo

The former Marauders star quarterback is “living my dream” after taking over for the recently retired Mark Stewart.

Seattle Seahawks' Cade Johnson, right, reaches for the ball after he fumbled on a punt return as Chicago Bears' Davontae Harris (16) and Dazz Newsome, upper right, reach for the ball during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. The ball was recovered by Bears' Elijah Hicks for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
Seahawks struggle in all phases, thumped by Bears

Seattle is plagued by dropped passes, poor tackling, penalties and special teams mistakes in a 27-11 loss to Chicago.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Canadians hand slumping AquaSox 5th straight loss

Everett mounts a late rally, but falls 9-8 for its 12th loss in the past 14 games.

Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) gets the rebound and makes a break around Storm center Tina Charles (31) as Washington Mystics center Shakira Austin (0) watches during the first half of Game 1 of a WNBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Late surge lifts Storm over Mystics in Game 1

Jewell Loyd scores 12 points in the final five minutes as Seattle earns an 86-83 win in the first of a three-game series.

Kenai Sinaphet takes the hand off from head coach, Dalton Schwetz, during practice Wednesday afternoon at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on August 17, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Fresh start’ for Marysville Pilchuck under new coach Schwetz

The Tomahawks begin practice without longtime coach Brandon Carson, who stepped down following last year’s playoff run.

Stanwood's Ryder Bumgarner rushes with yardage with Arlington's Trenton Lamie, left, closing in the third quarter Friday night at Stanwood High School on September 24, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Prep football: 5 storylines to watch this season

A look at some intriguing questions as local high school football practices get underway.

The Central Welding Supply 125, which serves as the season finale at Evergreen Speedway, will attempt to run on Saturday, after being bumped postponed last weekend due to weather.
Community roundup: ARCA West comes to Evergreen Speedway

Plus, a host of local collegians earn preseason honors, Jake Luton gets released by the Jaguars and more.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox fall to Canadians in slugfest

Everett loses 12-8 as the two teams combine for 30 hits.

Seattle Mariners' Cal Raleigh celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Raleigh homers twice, Mariners top Angels to complete sweep

Seattle hits four total home runs in an 11-7 win over Los Angeles.

Most Read