She just wrapped the 2021 WNBA campaign with a championship — but don’t expect the Chicago Sky star and Turner Sports analys to take a long holiday.
In her first season with her hometown team, Candace Parker scored the ultimate prize in the form of an WNBA title with the Chicago Sky. It was a historic moment in an already legendary basketball career — but her achievements on the court are only part of the story.
The six-time All-Star and two-time league MVP spoke with Boardroom about her evolving brand away from the hardwood, particularly her offseason job as a studio analyst for Turner Sports covering both the NBA and the men’s and women’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments.
“I’m a basketball junkie,” the future Hall of Famer said. “So to be working with people that I grew up watching, and to be able to really, literally have a camera watch us watch basketball — which is what I would do anyway — I was like, ‘Turner, are you sure? You sure this is a job?’ Because this is what I would do on my couch anyway.'”
Parker has embraced her versatility as a player and an analyst, laying the foundation for what’s next when her playing days are done while still excelling athletically at the highest level. That’s a serious balancing act; while WNBA players have to head overseas during the offseason to earn additional salary, the former Los Angeles Sparks and Tennessee Volunteers superstar said she needs to remain stateside, especially while her daughter is still in school.
“I think the opportunities are changing,” she said. “I do think there is something out there that WNBA players can find to do alongside playing basketball, which can keep them home. As we are able to do more and more with that, I think our game will get better and better.”
The biggest lesson Parker’s learned while working in the media, however? Finding the right way to critique a player and dissect their game.
“There’s a balance of obviously getting the point across, but also remembering that it’s not personal,” she said “Especially at Turner, I try to make sure people understand I’m critiquing their game, not who they are.”
Lastly, Parker discussed her podcast, “Moments with Candace Parker,” which celebrates the triumphs and trials of parenthood.
“As parents,” she said, “I’ve learned that the more that we can share and the more that we can bounce off each other and help one another, the better we are in sharing and the more we can learn.”