DPOY Candace Parker Not Voted to WNBA's 2020 All-Defensive Teams

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2020

Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker brings the ball up the court during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Washington Mystics, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker was apparently good enough to be the WNBA's Defensive Player of the Year but not good enough to make either of the All-Defensive teams.

The WNBA announced the first and second teams Tuesday, and Parker was conspicuous by her absence:

ESPN's Mechelle Voepel noted this is the first time in WNBA or NBA history the Defensive Player of the Year was omitted from an All-Defensive squad.

The voting panels for DPOY and All-Defensive teams aren't the same, which helps partially explain the disparity. Members of the WNBA media vote for the former, while head coaches weigh in on the latter.

Parker was far from a unanimous DPOY selection. She earned 16 first-place votes to 11 for Seattle Storm forward Alysha Clark and 10 for Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas. That coaches might have evaluated Parker's defensive contributions differently from the media panel isn't a total surprise.

Still, the 34-year-old averaged 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals while finishing third in defensive win shares (1.8), per Basketball Reference. Parker's 96.3 defensive rating was also her best since 2017, according to WNBA.com.

Depending on her official positional designation, to say Parker wasn't one of the four best defensive forwards or two best defensive centers beggars belief.

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