Parker, Sky reflect on Kobe Bryant after first WNBA title originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Two-time MVP Candace Parker won her second WNBA title in front of her hometown.
“This is amazing,” said Candace Parker after defeating the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 on Sunday. “Look at the city, man. They all showed up.”
A sold-out crowd in back-to-back games helped electrify the Sky who finished 3-1 in the Finals and won the team’s first WNBA championship.
Parker was the first overall pick by the Los Angeles Sparks in the 2008 WNBA Draft and won her first championship with the team in 2016.
The Sky signed Parker this February to bring more experience to a team that already had veterans Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot on the starting five. Parker recalled telling Quigley, Vandersloot and Kahleah Copper that she didn’t want to continue being 0-2 for her career in a Game 4.
“There’s a point in the game where you got to live with the results, but you got to do it in a way that’s aggressive,” Parker said. “You can’t be passively accepting the other team and what they do.
“I just think there’s growth in those moments that are heartbreak.”
Remembering those significant moments followed by a piece of advice from Vanessa Bryant pregame helped shape Parker’s Game 4 mindset. She hit a three-pointer to tie the game with just under two minutes remaining.
“I think Kobe (Bryant) and Gigi have meant so much to our league,” Parker said. “The advice I got from Vanessa before the game was ‘play Gigi’s way’ and I think we did that all playoffs. So I just wanted to acknowledge his contribution and V (Vanessa) said if Gigi could play she would play as hard as she could and so I think that that was huge in our team and just overcoming everything that came today.”
Parker finished Game 4 with 16 points, 5 assists and 13 rebounds.