Candace Parker RumorsAll NBA Players
Do you think we can finally retire all the tropes about Giannis? Like the things James Harden said about him? Is it time to get rid of that? Candace Parker: Yes and no. I think results do define legacy for some people. But at the same time: when you do it again? That’s different. People can still talk junk right now. Kawhi [Leonard] messed up his knee and he was out and the Clippers lost. Giannis messed up his knee and I don’t know how he came back from that. Every doctor I talked to said that’s a [torn] ACL and he should be done, yet he comes back and wins the championship. But is he a different player? He’s not different! He’s still doing the same thing! For now, it’s alright. But Brooklyn, man? Brooklyn’s waiting next year.
O’Neal’s own version of events is simply that he enjoys Parker’s company. When we talked, he gushed about her and said there’s mutual respect—and when you have that, Shaq said, “you can say whatever you want to me.” For Parker’s part, she offered that Shaq is constantly texting the Tuesday group and checking up on them. She said he called her daughter on her birthday, and he plays Uno with her daughter whenever she accompanies Parker to the studio. While Shaq and Wade have obviously known each other for a long time—winning the 2006 NBA title together in Miami—Parker and Wade go back a ways too. When Parker was in college at Tennessee and Wade was a pitchman for T-Mobile, he made sure to send Parker the official DWade Sidekick so she could be “cool in school.” (As with the rest of the gang, I had a delightful conversation with Wade, and I was honored that he was comfortable enough to disclose a possible NCAA violation.) Their collective collegiality and history have made it easier to brush it off whenever they’ve tried to brush each other back on set, and it’s helped them find the kind of chemistry that can take time on TV.
“We are different,” Parker said about her exchanges with Shaq. “We come from different eras. I am a female. He is a male. He played in a different era than I play in and they play now. We’re different ages. There are a number of different things that go along with it. For me, and I hope this is the case, when the cameras are off that’s the same exact way we act in the back. When we’re getting makeup, when we’re watching television, we debate.”
Alongside the WNBA’s stance, the NBA was right there with them as well. Candace Parker and Carmelo Anthony discussed more on the latest ‘What’s In Your Glass’ YouTube livestream. “Without you guys being there and having our back and supporting us, I honestly don’t know what this season would have been like and what our social justice campaign would be like because you do need allies as we found out this year,” said Parker.
“We did what we did – and you may have noticed or not – within our own meetings, one of the topic of discussions was ‘How do we take care of the WNBA’ like ‘How do we support the WNBA. How do we let them know that their voices are heard and we stand in a solidarity right with them. We going to war with them,’” said Anthony. “… But the joy for us – I know for me – being able to go and play a game knowing what’s the backdrop that we playing against with these social injustices and then watching you all play. Y’all was right down the block from us. Just watching y’all play, it was fulfilling for us to watch that and see the excitement y’all was playing with, but also the mark that you all left. “
What reaffirms Burke, what has always reaffirmed her, is that the people who truly matter — her colleagues, the coaches and the athletes — don’t care. ESPN hired and promoted her, and coaches and athletes, at both the college and professional level, trust her. Were it not for that, she says she might have left the business 20 years ago. And while she welcomes their public support and the Twitter responses in her defense, it’s their everyday actions that mean more. They don’t treat her differently. Her opinion is valued, her knowledge respected and her gender is exactly what she’s always wanted it to be — a non-issue. “When fans see real interactions between female reporters or analysts and players and coaches, when they hear Charles Barkley engage in dialogue about X’s and O’s with Candace Parker, those interactions have nothing to do with gender,” Burke says. “Those are the powerful moments.”