The Chicago Sky’s bid to become the first back-to-back champs since the Los Angeles Sparks did it in 2001 and 2002 fell short after they dropped Game 5 in epic fashion to the Connecticut Sun on Thursday, 72-63.
The loss has put some things into perspective for Candace Parker, who expressed that she’s open to retiring during the lead-up to the 2022 campaign. Although Parker will tell you she doesn’t feel like she’s dominating like she once did, the two-time MVP did have a career postseason run and has been praised by her teammates and head coach for her leadership and “urgency” to win back-to-back championships
Parker posted five double-doubles during the playoffs, including four straight from Games 1-3 against New York and in Game 1 against Connecticut. Her 27 playoff double-doubles tie Tamika Catchings for most in playoff history. She also became the all-time leading rebounder in WNBA playoff history during Game 4 of the semifinals.
Parker ends her latest playoff run averaging 15.9 rebounds, 11.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game on 44.9 percent shooting from the field.
Despite her individual success, Parker revealed that she is once again contemplating if she wants to walk away from basketball. She reiterated that she will take her time to weigh her options and that she has no intentions to “cheat the game.”
“I’m going to go back and reevaluate whether I’m able to continue to play at the level that I hold myself to,” Parker said. “And I think that’s the biggest thing; I don’t ever want to cheat the game. I won’t cheat the game.”
“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 said. “And I think that comes in the offseason.”
"I won't cheat the game"— WNBA (@WNBA) September 9, 2022
After yet another dominate season for @Candace_Parker, she speaks on what the off-season will look like and talks about always wanting to play at her highest level pic.twitter.com/Q01tKqFJpE
During Game 5, Parker posted seven points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals, and four blocks.
Her three-pointer and Kahleah Copper’s three-point play gave Chicago a 10-point lead entering the fourth, but Chicago went cold and missed their last eight shots of the night. A scuffle between Copper and DeWanna Bonner led to the Sun reeling off a decisive 18-0 run to win Game 5 and stamp their date to the WNBA Finals against the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday.
“Of course, it was not intentional, but maybe we stopped attacking,” Courtney Vandersloot said. “(Maybe) we were scared to lose, rather than trying to win. But I feel like we got good looks; we just didn’t knock them down.”