Candace Parker: WNBA Savior

Gagan SinghCorrespondent IMay 17, 2008

In the past, I haven't watched any WNBA games and didn't care much about the league in general. However, yesterday I actually sat down and watched a WNBA game. To my surprise, it was entertaining.

The WNBA began its 12th season with a marquee match-up between the LA Sparks and defending champion Phoenix Mercury. Coming into the game I knew of two players and I wanted to watch the game because of one of them, Candace Parker. I remember her from when she won the high school dunk contest and led Tennessee to back-to-back titles in college. I was looking forward to what she could do in the WNBA, and in her first professional game, she did not disappoint.

Parker dropped 34 points, 12 boards and eight assists in her first game and made it look easy as LA defeated Phoenix 99-94. She played four different positions for her team and it didn't matter who was guarding her, there was nothing the defender could do to stop her.

The combination of Parker and Leslie (Magic and Kareem?) was deadly yesterday and I expect more of the same going forward.

Candace Parker could very well end up being the Michael Jordan of this league. She's not afraid to post, drive, shoot the J or play defense. Even though she has played only one game, she could be the best player in the league and will only get better.

Just like Magic, Bird and MJ saved the NBA, Parker could very well do that for the WNBA. Candace Parker is an attractive woman and also a great basketball player. She can dunk and take over games (she scored 10 straight in the fourth quarter yesterday) like no other female player before her. That will attract more fans to the WNBA. She is also very marketable; she already has a shoe deal, which will only give the WNBA more exposure. Candace Parker is exactly what the WNBA needed.

If she can get people like me, who didn't care about the WNBA, to watch a game and even write about it, she can definitely get basketball fans in general to start tuning in to the games.