Candace Parker was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2008, following a championship career at the University of Tennessee. During the 2008-09 WNBA season, she became the first player to earn WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season and she hasn’t looked back since. In 2016, she led the Sparks to the WNBA championship.
After a decade of WNBA dominance, Parker, who led the Sparks to the WNBA title in 2016, is starting to set up her chess board for life after basketball.
Turner Sports has reached an agreement with Parker, a two-time league MVP, on a multi-faceted position including full-time contributions as an analyst and commentator for the NBA on TNT and NBA TV throughout the season.
WNBA champion & two-time league MVP Candace Parker joins Turner Sports as NBA & NCAA commentator. Full release: https://t.co/EWVei9r0Nk
“I had a lot of fun last year when I joined the Turner Sports team at the end of the year, and I did March Madness as well,” Parker told The Shadow League in a conference call on Wednesday, where Turner officially announced her new deal.
Fellow TNT analysts and former NBA stars Reggie Miller and Chris Webber joined Parker to welcome her into the fray. She immediately displayed the charm, intelligence, and wit that will surely captivate viewing audiences when she exchanged witty barbs with Miller concerning the 2018-19 fortunes of the Denver Nuggets. Parker felt that they lacked the talent to be a playoff team and Miller had them ranked in the Western Conference's Top 5 teams.
It was a preview of what's to come.
“I really loved the family atmosphere and working with these icons I grew up idolizing and watching,“ Parker continued. “ I can't remember how many times I tried to emulate C Webb’s moves or do the Reggie (Miller) kick... or push off..I think its a dream come true for me now to work with these guys who I really truly respect and learn from them. The ball has to stop bouncing on my career at some point and figuring out what I want to do after I transition out of basketball in my next phase in life...this is perfect for me."
Parker became the 20th WNBA player in history to reach 5,000 points in August.
Uploaded by The Morning After with Nick Hamilton on 2018-08-06.
While many of us would love to see her with the US Team preparing for a 2020 Olympic run, Parker’s consistent presence covering NBA games won’t do anything to hurt her brand or her ability to play a few more seasons. It also gives her more time to advocate for higher salaries for WNBA players.
I know everyone is anxiously awaiting where Lebron is going to go.... but I know I am not alone in feeling that I hope at some point in my life, I can sleep at night... opting OUT of 35 MILLION DOLLARS..... like geeez #BillyGoat
We've also seen her growth as an icon, hoops ambassador, entrepreneur, international brand and respected voice of change. On October 5, Parker released her new signature shoe with Adidas.
Left Foot, Right Foot, Breathe The @Candace_Parker Pro Bounce Player Exclusive is available now. 🔶: https://t.co/kxhg7ZdXXB
The five-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold medalist has made it clear that she’s transitioning and has no intentions of calling it quits anytime soon. It’s just time for her to start thinking about the future.
“I love broadcasting because it allows me to share my passion for basketball with viewers," Parker said, "and I look forward to sharing my analysis and commentary in a variety of formats.”
Parker is coming off an All-Star campaign in 2018 where she led LA to the postseason and will join the Players Only studio team for telecasts airing on both TNT and NBA TV. Parker will also provide analysis for NBA TV GameTime – the network’s flagship studio show – with regular appearances on Sunday nights during the 2018-19 season beginning with her debut on Oct. 21. Additionally, Parker will provide commentary for Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship
In other words, she'll have her face up in the place, as a new star in the sports broadcasting field.
Los Angeles Sparks forward and WNBA All-Star Candace Parker joins SportsNation to speak with Cari Champion about LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers, the WNBA-NBA pay gap, the Sparks' 2018 season, and her future in sports broadcasting.
“Candace is one of the most influential basketball stars of her generation and we’re thrilled to provide a wide variety of opportunities for her to share her passion for the game and insights directly with fans,” said Tara August, Vice President of Talent Relations & Special Projects, Turner Sports. “She’s a trailblazer in every sense of the word and we can’t wait to further showcase her talents as a commentator across our collective basketball portfolio.”
Turner Sports bringing Parker into the fold is a terrific move. She’s a respected basketball mind who has gained knowledge from a wealth of basketball savants including former Tennessee vols icon Pat Summit and Kobe Bryant. There’s not a level of the game that she hasn’t surpassed making her one of the influential figures in the history of women’s basketball.
LeBron James, in the room with Jon Stewart, Odell Beckham Jr., Snoop, Candace Parker, Draymond Green, Michael Bennett and Mav Carter talking about wilding out during his kids' AAU games. 😂😂😂 https://t.co/7n4Q6G8HNx
She always seems to get a seat at the table. She's a transcending voice. #Respect