Sunday December 3rd, 2023 12:06AM

Candace Parker wants to play next season if she can get healthy

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Candace Parker plans on playing another season if she's healthy enough to do so.

The two-time WNBA MVP missed the Las Vegas Aces' run to a second straight league championship after having surgery on her left foot in late July.

“I’ll weigh my options. If I feel really, really good then I’ll play," she said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday. “That’s a big if. I've got to get my foot right. My foot was really bad last year. I don’t want to cheat the game or cheat myself."

Parker said that her left foot had been injured all season — her first with the Aces — but she played through it. It wasn't until she injured her right ankle and Achilles tendon that she got an MRI on her left one too.

“I did it and it was 89% fractured. It’s crazy how things work out,” said the 37-year-old Parker, who is a free agent but would go back to Las Vegas.

She was on a scooter for 10 1/2 weeks after having surgery and is finally starting to feel a bit better.

“Every day my foot doesn’t feel great walking,” she said. “I continue to rehab and stuff. I can’t play in pain. It makes the game not fun. I realized on Halloween that I want to take my kids trick or treating. I don’t want to be sitting in the car because I can’t walk. I want to be able to go out to the beach. I love playing beach volleyball. I don’t know if one more season is worth risking that.”

Parker was in New York for the premiere of her documentary “Unapologetic” that will debut on Sunday on ESPN.

The film chronicles Parker's entire story from her childhood in Naperville, Illinois, to becoming a high school basketball phenom, who went on to win two championships at Tennessee. It continues with her WNBA career after getting drafted first by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2008 and winning the league's MVP and Rookie of the Year that season. The film was shot before she joined Las Vegas a free agent this past year.

Parker opens up in the documentary about being left off the 2016 Olympic team, motherhood, her divorce from former NBA player Shelden Williams.

“A lot of those points in the documentary were well done. I'm proud of it. Proud of the way we handled my injuries, we didn't make excuses,” she said. "The way we handled the USA situation. I'm not going to badmouth people. These are the facts however you want to interpret it. This is why I was upset. Same thing with the divorce. We co-parent well. We had experience doing it when I was overseas for eight years."

Parker also opens up about her marriage to her former Russian league teammate Anna Petrakova.

“You realize the responsibility that there are so many people who are struggling whether you're bringing home someone from the opposite race or the opposite sex or going through things yourself about your identity," Parker said.

"It got to a point where I can't look my daughter in the eyes and tell her to be herself and proud of who she is and we're walking into a room where she can't say that's my bonus mom or this is my mom's wife."

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AP WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - WNBA
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