The Chicago Sky’s attempt to win back-to-back championships for the first time since the Los Angeles Sparks did so in 2001 and 2002 failed as they were defeated by the Connecticut Sun in an incredible Game 5 on Thursday, 72-63.
Candace Parker said she’s open to retiring before the 2022 campaign since the defeat has helped her put things into perspective. The two-time MVP has had a stellar playoff run and has been complimented by her teammates and head coach for her leadership and “urgency” to win back-to-back titles, despite the fact that Parker will readily admit she doesn’t feel as dominant as she once did.
Parker recorded five double-doubles in the postseason, notably four straights against New York in games one and two of the series as well as one against Connecticut. She shares the record for the most playoff double-doubles ever with Tamika Catchings with 27. During Game 4 of the semifinals, she also surpassed everyone else to become the WNBA playoffs’ all-time top rebounder.
Candace finished her postseason run by averaging 15.9 rebounds, 11.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting 44.9 percent from the floor.
Parker admitted that she is once more debating whether or not she wants to quit basketball despite her achievement. She emphasized that she would consider all of her alternatives carefully and that she had no desire to “cheat the game.”
"I won't cheat the game"
She said about her decision: “I’m going to go back and reevaluate whether I’m able to continue to play at the level that I hold myself to. And I think that’s the biggest thing; I don’t ever want to cheat the game. I won’t cheat the game.
She further added:
“So, when I’m not able to go out and play and be the Candace that I want to be, I won’t play.
Parker single-handedly claimed seven points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals, and four blocks in Game 5. Chicago led by 10 points going into the fourth quarter thanks to her three-pointer and Kahleah Copper’s three-point play, but they went cold and missed their final eight shots of the game. The Sun went on a decisive 18-0 run to win Game 5 and seal their spot in the WNBA Finals against the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday as a result of an exchange between Copper and DeWanna Bonner.