Candace Parker Talks All-Time WNBA Top 5, Favorite NBA Player, More in B/R AMA

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2020

Los Angeles Sparks' Candace Parker advances the ball during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Chicago Sky Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Candace Parker is a two-time WNBA MVP, but she has been spending the past few weeks just like the rest of us at home. 

The Los Angeles Sparks forward is a five-time All-Star who spends her offseason as a basketball analyst for Turner Sports on TNT and NBATV. However, the NBA season is suspended and the WNBA season has been postponed, leaving time for Parker to join Bleacher Report for an AMA.

The 33-year-old answered a variety of questions Monday, including about her all-time WNBA starting five, competing against NBA players and the 2020 slam dunk contest.


@GdawgFTW: What have you been doing during quarantine?

I have been working out, teaching fifth grade, cooking, and watching a lot of Netflix. I can't wait for the bonus episode of Tiger King. It always takes a turn, no way I can tell you what this show is about haha. 

You think you're past the crazy...then you're like wait a second. 


@AndrewMayer777: Who in the NBA do you want to 1v1?

Really good question! I need a guard, because I want to post 'em up. I would say...Kyrie. I don't want to play him, because I don't want to defend him but it would be cool to post him up. 


@Dixon12: Chick-fil-A or Popeyes?

CFA. Not even close. Don't think I've even had popeyes


@therealGM: What's your best Pat Summitt story from your days at UT?

Oh my goodness! Let's see. One day she was getting on me at practice, and the next day I was like 'I'mma show her I'm for real.' I get there and I'm gonna get there really early. We have practice at 6, I'm gonna get there by 430, have a nice lather going. I got there...she was already there and had worked out already. By 430. And so I was like, she doesn't just want us to work hard. She does. 


@BronGOAT23: Do you think you could win MVP in the NBA? How do you think the two leagues are different?

No. I think they're different obviously with athleticism. Our game is getting there, we play above the rim, but it's not even close. There's guys that have roles based on athleticism, being able to run the floor and it's different based on that. They're moving the game forward in terms of stretching the defense, playing more of a 1v1 game, where we play more of a team game, sharing the ball. Things like that. Those are the two major differences.


@BlessedVolsFan: Would you ever consider trying to be a coach at UT or in the WNBA?

Never say never...But no haha. I want to coach my daughter and I never thought I would get there. There's a possibility, I'd never rule out anything. I just lack that patient gene haha


@NBL21_bombasquad: Favorite song rn?

I'm like an old soul haha. My friends get mad at me because I always play Old School music. Boyz II Men, Michael Jackson. Right now...probably Dance Monkey honestly because my daughter plays it and I can't get it out of my head. Or all the Tik Tok songs


@allrise99: You are an inspiration!!! How do you overcome all the obstacles women in sports face?

Face 'em. Was always taught to have a goal every day. One that's easily attainable to make yourself feel good and another that's more far out and that's kinda how I lived my years and my career. Focus on the legacy and what it all means after you're all done. Put your head down and work. 


@JackPail: If you could dunk on any player who would it be and why?

My brothers, my two brothers. My brother played in the NBA for like 10 years (I should probably check that haha). Whenever we play, joke around, my middle brother is very athletic so it would give me more joy and AMAZING dinners at the dinner table for years to come if I could dunk on them.


@TheCarolineWay: What was your favorite place to eat in Knoxville?

They used to have this little spot called Sawyer's. It was right on campus. They had the BEST chicken fingers, with homemade sauce. I used to get it before every road trip. 


@JCTheLit: Could you have won the ESPN HORSE challenge?

If anybody says no…'they couldn't have won it'...they'd be in trouble. I will say, Allie Quigley is a beast. I played with her in Turkey and Istanbul, I've never seen anybody shoot like her. We grew up in the same area, played against each other. I just love her rise. She's always grinded. She always works hard, she's super fundamental. That would have been tough for sure. 


@mikeyoung345: Favorite movie?

OHHH ok. Taking it way back. Do you remember the Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror? I used to watch that movie, on repeat, every single day as a child. It gives me so much joy to show that to my daughter. She loves it. Knows all Michael Jackson songs. 

Rookie of the Year. Like Mike. Sandlot. Now and Then. Sister Sister. Every single Full House. Every show I liked growing up, I showed her. 


@LefkoeBR: What do you look for in a Spades partner?

He was my spades partner at D-Wade's apartment. Adam Lefkoe fits every quality. Studies the game. Prepared coming in. Throws out the right suit when it's played. KNOWS WHEN I'M CUTTING. That's crucial. 


@Steve_Perrault: What's been the best part of your TNT coverage on Tuesday's?

Favorite part, honestly, I feel like we're a team. I like the vibe, the respect everybody has. With respect, when you establish that relationship, you can disagree with people and they don't take it personal. Love the fact that we have fun, can disagree and say stuff. I enjoy when it's off-camera, in the film room just watching games and talking s--t. That's my favorite part. 

Lefkoe is fantastic. D-Wade wants to be great at television. Shaq the same way, he's the best. We found our groove and I really enjoy it. I have fun on set.  


@Narrative: Will you marry me?

Hahaha um, yeah, I'm good right now, but I appreciate it. I don't know you so... 


@Not_RudyGobert: What's the best part about Los Angeles?

I love Los Angeles and I'm from the midwest. Best part is you can get something different in every place. Different food, different culture. Can get the hiking vibe, the Hollywood vibe. Can go and get authentic food from different countries, which I love. Culturally, can have a lot of different experiences.


@Chris_Mist: What was it like to judge and enjoy all star weekend?

Chicago was the best all-star game since Chicago. The best since '88. Best since Dominique and Mike, by far. Anybody that hesitates to admit that, you guys are jealous, just must not be feeling Chicago. No way you can debate that. Fun just to be a part of it. Historic. 


@KingCeeBurn: Was the Dunk Contest rigged?

This is how I knew fake news spreads. Because I gave him a 10. And everybody went in on me. This is when I was like, don't just jump on the back of somebody else. Do your research before you start accusing haha. Everybody was like, Aaron Gordon should have won! Yeah, I think so too! I gave him a 10 if you look at it! I thought it was hilarious. My friends were at the game and when I saw them after the Dunk Contest they yelled at me. I think it's because I stood up that they thought I was a 9. I just laughed, the whole point was to have them be even and then have us decide it. It was one of the best dunk contests ever. 


@Dplovesbball: Who are the top 5 WNBA players all-time?

Top five is really hard. Gonna move some positions around. 

PG: Ticha Penicheiro. 

SG: Cheryl Miller at the 2

SF: Diana at the 3. 

PF: Myself

C: Lisa Leslie or Lauren Jackson, but Lisa was my teammate, so I'mma go with Lisa 


@Rip6: What NBA player has the best signature shoe?

The best sig shoe there ever was were the Kobes when he was with the Adidas. The moon boots. I have every moon boot pair. They came out with a vino pair, when he was retiring, it's like wine-cork shoe. That was my favorite shoe, I played in that shoe when I was playing AAU. Was our AAU team shoe. Now I love it. I rocked it in Chicago, have some pairs that are pretty dope. 


@matthewfarvin19: How did you feel when you heard the news about Kobe?

There are things that you understand happen. There are things you can't imagine. I still wake up every day like it's not possible. Somebody said it best: You feel like because you're great or something like that that you almost have this layer of protection, it's super tragic for what it did to basketball but him as a human being, made me change the way I live. People remember you for basketball which is great, but what he was doing after basketball, he was almost going to be bigger than as a basketball player. 

He was a great person, and that's where you want to be. The coverage was one of the hardest things, to go into Staples. What he did for women's basketball and continuing to do. Tragic all around. 


@ladarius26: Who is your fav player in the NBA?

That's a really good question. I think you like players that play like you. Historically over time, I always watched Lamar Odom. He was dominant in the years that he played, but if he played in today's game? Don't think they utilized him at the time, still changed the way games were played. Always watched him just from being able to relate it to my game. 

Right now, Kevin Durant. He's just a walking bucket. Enjoyed the way he's changed the way people think of bigs, being able to step away from the basket. 


@cspr1236: Favorite rapper? 



@ephraimtheguy: What number would you wear if it wasn't #3? 

I actually wore number 32 in high school. It was retired at Tennessee because of Daedra Charles, RIP, so I had to pick another number and picked number three because I was a huge Allen Iverson fan. Baggy shorts, everything haha. 


@BermBanger_21: What was the loudest game you've played in? 

Played against UCONN at home and there were 26,000 people and it got extremely loud. That's when I was like, ok, this is why it came to Tennessee. 


Q: What is your favorite game or play of your career?

Favorite play: When I was a junior in high school. I remember seeing a behind-the-back move. So I went through the entire team. Spun, went between the legs, then another girl came to take it and I went behind my back. I remember being like, 'that was a nice move' haha. 

Game: Two games. My junior year, at Tennessee, when we played Ole Miss to go to the Final Four. I just had an insane game. Was the HUMP, the obstacle you had to get over to get to the Final Four, and we were on a mission that year. Was the exclamation point game. 

Professional: Game 5 against Minnesota when we won the first WNBA championship. 


Q: Go-to pre-game song or soundtrack?

Biggest Jay-Z fan ever. So any type of Jay-Z song. Song Cry is my favorite vibe.


Q: How far do you think the moon is from Earth?

Gotta be millions of miles away, right? I would say 3 million miles away. I'm into history, not science haha