Los Angeles star Candace Parker tweeted philosophical after her team’s horrible 104-89 loss to Phoenix on Sunday. “Handle failure like u handle success! my mind is cool takin care of my body. its a process…” wrote Parker, who made her debut after giving birth to her first child in May.
Looking winded — her daughter was up all-night prior to gameday — Parker missed her first shot attempt and seemed to struggle to get back on defense. But a baseline drive against Mercury G Diana Taurasi was the only glimpse needed to see Parker, the 2008 MVP, will be fine once she gets in shape. Parker (pictured right by the Associated Press) finished with six points in 18 minutes.
“It’s different,” Parker, 22, told The Los Angeles Times of last season’s debut, which also ended with Rookie of the Year honors. “Last year I was able to rely more on my athleticism and jumping over people. Now I actually have to box out. The speed, I’m not able to go past people anymore. I’m going to have to be more fundamental until that comes back.”
Watching the game on NBATV, I was wishing I could listen to Phoenix’s feed to hear more about Cappie Pondexter, who looks even better. (How is this possible?) Phoenix ran amuck against a LA team uninterested in defense.
The Mercury sitting atop the Western Conference with three players among the leaders in the All-Star vote makes fans look pretty smart right now. Then again, Sparks C Lisa Leslie leads her category and she may miss half of her team’s six road games with a sprained right knee.
Parker also received All-Star votes and she may not even be in LA’s starting lineup by the time the July 25 midseason classic rolls around. At least it was only 9,500-plus who forgot she didn’t play in the first eight games of the season.
But the hot topic last week was of course Taurasi’s citation for suspected DUI. Kudos to the LA crew for at least acknowledging the incident on air. More will be known in the upcoming weeks, but it’s a slippery slope.
One of the reasons the Indiana Pacers are in trouble financially is because of the off-court behavior of former players (strip clubs, alcohol, guns). The same for the old Portland Trailblazers, who had to overhaul its roster and re-introduce itself to the community to battle “Jail Blazer” tag.
Taurasi is not near this point, but why not send a hard message since you can name two others — Sacramento F Rebekkah Brunson and Kara Braxton — who fallen into this pitfall the past year?
The incident overshadowed a positive in the women’s basketball world — five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards (Minnesota Lynx) being named as a member of the Class of 2009 who’ll be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame currently consists of 213 athletes and 13 special contributors.
“For me, it’s the highest of highs because I’ve always looked at the Olympics as being the best that you could possibly get for women’s basketball,” Edwards said in a released statement. “For me, it’s the most important honor ever. To be in the company of Muhammad Ali and Wilma Rudolph, that’s huge. It’s kind of like, pinch me, because I still can’t believe it.”
For the Storm, it was down week, losing road games in LA and Phoenix. After two consecutive days off, the team practiced through the weekend and finally has a stretch of home games — eight of their upcoming 10 games.
Seeing if they can keep their home winning streak going and if Indiana can push its past eight are what I’m keeping an eye on this week.