By Michael Teich
WNBA star Candace Parker may be a female voice in a male-dominated sport, but the two-time MVP wants to be recognized for more than just her gender.
“I think it’s important because, obviously we watch basketball, and I feel like we’re knowledgeable about it as well," Parker said Thursday in an interview on Cheddar. "I don't know if it’s a female voice or just another opinion. I hope at some point in the transition it’s more of that ー a varying opinion as opposed to a different gender.
The Los Angeles Spark is taking her talents to the broadcast booth, signing on with Turner Sports as a NBA and NCAA basketball commentator.
Parker, who is entering her 11th season with the Sparks, will join the Players Only Studio team, dishing out her insights and analysis from an athlete's perspective.
She also weighed in on the future of the WNBA, whose former president Lisa Borders stepped down to take a new position as the first-ever CEO of Time's Up.
“Lisa was great with us," she said. "I’m partial, you know. We won a championship when she was president. I think she did a great job of balancing both players as well as owners and was a great leader, and I wish her the best. It's going to be hard replacing her, but I'm sure the WNBA will do the best they can.”
In 2018 Borders helped the WNBA score its most-watched season in four years, and in 2017 she led the league to its highest regular-season attendance since 2012.
Despite the WNBA's growth over the past few years, revenue and viewership is still dwarfed by that of the men's league. But the NBA had a decades-long head-start, according to Parker.
“I always talk about how young the league is. We’re 23 years young," she said. "The NBA was on tape delay in the 80s for the Finals match-up. So, if you can imagine the progress that they’ve made over the past 20-30 years. I think just give it time."
The six-time All Star is confident social media will help accelerate the WNBA's progress.
"The WNBA is going to be more visible, and you’re going to be able to get to know the players," she said.
"What do you fall in love with with the NBA? You fall in love with story lines and being able to know the players. It’s coming for the WNBA.”
For full interview click here.