When two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker was considering moving home and the Chicago Sky, she sought the advice of many, including two of her friends: Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and retired star Dwyane Wade / p>

“The biggest thing I got from them was, ‘You have to follow your heart,'” Parker said. “So I think that’s what I did in the end”

After 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks, Parker is leaving the team that signed their No. 1 with Heaven in 2008. She grew up in the Chicago suburbs and played for Naperville Central High School before moving to Tennessee where she won two NCAA titles

Parker appeared on a Zoom call Tuesday along with Sky trainer / general manager James Wade, team owners Michael Alter and John Rogers, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her wife Amy Eshleman

Lightfoot greeted Parker at home and talked about watching her since high school. Lightfoot said she, her wife, and 12-year-old daughter were Sky fans and would like to see Parker in a Chicago uniform

“We know you will love it here,” said Lightfoot, “and we will definitely love you again”It will mean a lot to girls across the Chicago area, both on and off the pitch. Our girls’ eyes light up when our basketball stars visit them in their communities”

Parker, who has an 11-year-old daughter, said the impact COVID-19 had on the world made her even more aware of the importance of being close to loved ones and that they still do a lot of theirs Family has in the Chicago area

It was announced last week that Parker was on his way home ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported this on Jan. 27. Parker said she received a FaceTime call from her grandmother and held up a Chicago newspaper announcing she would be back

Parker, who was the MVP of the 2016 WNBA Finals when the Sparks won the championship, was an unreserved free agent and said Chicago was the only other WNBA destination she was considering

“I was raised to be, ‘You finish what you start,'” said Parker. “For 13 years I have felt like I gave the Sparks organization everything it had and they gave everything I won’t go upset I won’t let things be thrown or I’m upset or angry or request a deal I’m going because I can go where I want by contract

“I think player empowerment is something very important and there is more talk about it. I believe the WNBA and NBA are emulating each other and [if] my journey gives others the power to do what they want, I think it’s great. But I want to emphasize that I have finished what I started “

Parker has a home in the Los Angeles area and will continue her work as a men’s NBA and college basketball analyst at Turner Sports. Parker, a lifelong Chicago sports fanatic, said she hopes Sky, which was named a WNBA in 2006 The expansion franchise began to help have a bigger presence in the city and take part in a championship

The Sky has made it to the WNBA finals once (lost to Phoenix in 2014) Parker looks forward to joining sniper Allie Quigley from Joliet, Illinois, alongside point guard Courtney Vandersloot, the WNBA front runner for the past three seasons Parker has known since high school, and to play young players like Diamond DeShields and Azurá Stevens

Parker said the death of her Tennessee college coach, Pat Summitt, in 2016 and the death of Kobe Bryant last year made her all the more aware of the importance of caring for others

Parker was the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year last season averaging 147 points and 97 rebounds.She is the only player to win MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season (2008) and hers in 2013 second MVP won

Parker, who will turn 35 in April, admitted that she “has done a lot more basketball than I have before me” These are just facts, but I wanted to play the basketball in front of me in Chicago “

She took note that 43-year-old Tom Brady was in the Super Bowl on Sunday, that Lebron James won a title and NBA Finals MVP in 2020 at the age of 35, and her WNBA counterparts like Sue Bird (40) from Seattle and Phoenix Diana Taurasi, 38, still plays Taurasi signed a multi-year deal with the Mercury on Monday, and Bird, who helped the Storm win its fourth WNBA title last season, is expected soon sign again with Seattle

While Parker said she didn’t expect to play for as long as someone like Brady or Bird, she’s nonetheless confident that she has a lot to offer

“If I didn’t feel like I got to Chicago with enough in the tank, I wouldn’t be playing,” said Parker. “I don’t want to cheat the game. When that day comes I’ll walk away I grew up when you were on.” walked the place, it’s your art form

“For me personally, it’s about being able to walk away from basketball – not crawling, not limping, not hobbling. I’ve been fortunate enough to play for so many years in my career, I think we all have some sense of LeBron’s energy and what he’s put into it and I think he changed the way you prepare, how you get your body in shape, that’s what i try to make sure over the years that I extend that great basketball is still being played “

Candace Parker

World News – USA – Parker’s return to Chicago, supported by NBA tips

Source: https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/30822025/candace-parker-got-advice-kevin-durant-dwyane-wade-chicago-sky-decision