Candace Parker’s own peers voted her the most overrated player in the WNBA in 2019.
That year, she posted career-low averages of 11.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game on 42/27/79 shooting splits. The Los Angeles Sparks still finished 22-12 and first in the Western Conference, but lost 3-0 in the semifinals of the playoffs, where she posted just 10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per contest. And, in all honesty, she knew that year was disappointing; she admitted it herself.
How did she respond? In the 2020 Wubble, she averaged 14.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks while shooting 51/40/73. She also won her first Defensive Player of the Year Award and recorded 22 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks.
This year with her hometown Chicago Sky, she’s averaged 13.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists through seven appearances. The Sky are 8-7 and tied for second in the Eastern Conference, just 1.5 games behind the first-place Connecticut Sun. Last night, she had her best game on her new squad, posting a season-high 23 points, accompanied by 12 rebounds and six assists while shooting 9-for-16 from the floor and 3-for-4 from three. Moreover, the 92-72 victory over the New York Liberty was Chicago’s sixth straight win.
Still hitting turnaround fadeaways. Still knocking down three-pointers. Still getting putbacks. Still faking out defenders in the post.
Parker currently stands 224 points away from 6,000, and she’ll become the 12th player in WNBA history to achieve the mark, with Tina Charles becoming the 11th earlier this season. The Sky have 17 games remaining, and Parker would need to average 13.2 points the rest of the way — more or less her current average — to reach that milestone this season. She’s also 38 rebounds away from 3,000, a total she’d become the ninth WNBA player to reach.
After Chicago’s victory over the Liberty, Parker put on her media hat and invaded the post-game presser in an attempt to try and (playfully) get rid of morning shootarounds. As Sky head coach James Wade awaited the next question, Parker stepped in with an inquiry of her own.
“Your team was flying in late last night, and there was no shootaround this morning. Do you think in any type of way that that may have contributed to the way that they played today?” she asked, as Wade laughed his ass off the entire time.
“I think it helped a little bit,” Wade acknowledged before interrupting himself by not being able to contain his laughter.
“Thanks, Coach Wade. I really appreciate it!” Parker added.
Several surgeries later, Parker’s still playing at a high level and remains one of the most important representatives of all basketball. Perhaps she could eliminate morning shootarounds and get some extra rest, too.