June 26, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) Kelsey Bone had a whirlwind 24 hours.

She woke up in Seattle on Saturday morning and flew with the Connecticut Sun to Los Angeles. When she got to LA, Bone learned that she had been traded to the Phoenix Mercury.

Bone hopped an overnight flight to New York to play with the Mercury against the Liberty.

''It definitely has been a crazy 24 hours,'' Bone said before the game. ''They asked me if I wanted to play and I said if I'm coming I do.''

She checked in for the first time with 3 minutes left in the first half and played nearly 8 minutes in the Mercury's 104-97 overtime victory. Bone scored six points.

Getting the All-Star to New York wasn't the only logistical problem for the Mercury. They didn't have a jersey for her. Bone wore No. 45. The Mercury had that number in stock, but it had Noelle Quinn's name on it. In accordance with league rules, they needed to get Bone's name embroidered with the same Orange color as the rest of the team. So a new jersey had to be made and brought to Madison Square Garden for a 3 p.m. tip. It had quite the journey.

Since the trade, which sent Courtney Williams and the rights to second-round draft pick Jillian Alleyne to Connecticut, happened relatively late on Saturday the Mercury couldn't ship a new uniform. So the team had an intern catch an overnight flight from Phoenix with the jersey in hand.

''I think the jersey was in the plane right behind mine,'' Bone said, laughing.

The 6-foot-4 Bone was the WNBA's most-improved player last season after averaging 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds. The fifth overall pick in the 2013 WNBA draft by New York, she was Connecticut's second-leading scorer this season with 12.5 points per game and averaged 4 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

As Connecticut floundered this season, Bone had asked the team to trade her. They finally were able to accommodate her wish on Saturday. The Mercury will host Connecticut on Wednesday.

''It had been discussed. I had asked a couple times (to be traded). It didn't catch me off guard. It didn't catch me by surprise,'' Bone said. ''I'm excited about it. I'm about being comfortable.

''When things don't work, you have to be comfortable enough to say it's not for me. That was a situation that wasn't for me, and I'm ok with that. I played there for 2 1/2 years. It's been hard. We've been doing a lot of losing. That's a franchise that's going to get it together and figure it out. I'm happy to have been a part of them.''

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