I hear Diana Taurasi referred to as the best player in the world, but in my mind that distinction belongs to Candace Parker. Taurasi may have won the ESPY, but Parker is the truth.
I'm taking nothing away from Taurasi; she's an amazing player. But Parker is incredibly consistent and versatile.
She showed in the United States' gold medal-winning game that she was the most dominant player.
While most of her teammates struggled—including Taurasi—Parker carried the American attack. She had 14 points and nine rebounds in the first half—while the game was still close.
She finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, as the Team USA destroyed France 86-50.
No other player in the world has her combination of size, skills and athleticism. On multiple occasions in the first half she grabbed the rebound, and then showed the handle and quickness to go coast-to-coast for the score.
Very few—if any—6'4" forwards in the women's game can do that, and Parker does it with relative ease.
She's coming off a season where she scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds per game. Taurasi is coming off an injury-riddled season, and to be quite honest—she doesn't look as if she is performing at the level she once has.
Another thing to consider is that Taurasi just turned 30 years old, and Parker is only 26. She not only has the health, size and athleticism advantage; she's younger as well.
The torch has been passed, whether the reality is accepted or not. Parker is the game's best player.
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