Monday, during her first post-training camp media availability on a new team, Parker was able to share what has impressed her about her new team.
The Sky have not been short on adulation for Candace Parker and what the two-time league MVP brings to this already talented team.
Monday, during her first post-training camp media availability, Parker was able to share what has impressed her.
One word sums it up: communication.
“Everything that is expected of me and this team is communicated well,” Parker said. “That’s sometimes the thing that takes the longest, and it seems like we’re right there.”
Parker has been balancing two careers, one as a player and another as an NBA analyst for Turner Sports. This has included broadcasts that end at 1 a.m., followed by 9 a.m. workouts. Her key to succeeding at it is taking things day by day.
Parker works with Turner through the NBA’s regular season so that juggling act will cease next week.
In their second week of training camp, Sky coach and general manager James Wade said the focus remains on developing chemistry, implementing new systems and establishing a stronger defensive mindset.
Their preseason games against the Fever on May 9 and 11 will be an evaluation of younger players as the Sky will still be without most of their backcourt. Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley have six negative COVID-19 tests to produce before they can undergo physicals and begin training with the team. Rookie Shyla Heal is still not in town.
Developing a rotation isn’t possible without the team intact, but Wade did say that Parker and Diamond DeShields complement each other well.
— Chicago Sky (@chicagosky) May 2, 2021
Deshields’ cutting abilities, talent scoring in transition and aptitude for drawing defenders to her combined with Parker’s passing on the move, ball-handling in transition and perimeter shooting is a lethal combination offensively. Simply put, both are playmakers, and together will be a matchup nightmare.
On paper, Parker said she and DeShields could be unbelievable. But Parker believes not enough people are paying attention to DeShields’ skill on defense. That’s where she feels they can truly disrupt teams.
Parker likened the pairing to her chemistry with former teammate and member of the Sparks’ 2016 WNBA championship team, Kristi Toliver.
“Our pick and roll play, how she could handle and shoot and her high IQ [is similar to DeShields],” Parker said. “I think in terms of the impact from paper to actually doing it could be the same with me and Diamond.”
If that comparison indicates what this 2021 Sky team could accomplish together, the WNBA Championship expectations aren’t far-fetched.
DeShields said she’s feeling great coming into camp after leaving the WNBA bubble early due to personal reasons, followed by an offseason that she spent working out almost every day. She was crosstraining, boxing and in the gym working with different basketball trainers.
The goal was to have confidence stepping back on the court with her team. Now, the focus simplifies to staying consistent and one singular accomplishment.
“There’s only one thing that I want to accomplish, and that’s to be holding the trophy at the end of the season,” DeShields said.