Do you know who you’re talking to? Candace Parker and Shaq are becoming the Internet’s favorite duo
Future WNBA Hall of Famer Candace Parker continues to school retired Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal.
Parker and Shaq are co-hosts on “NBA on TNT” and have been trading friendly banter for weeks. Most recently, when co-host Adam Lefkoe asked Parker for her opinion, he referred to her as “reigning Defensive Player of the Year.” The former Los Angeles Sparks forward led the WNBA in defensive rebounds and was in the top 10 for blocked shots per game last season.
“You were Defensive Player of the Year?” Shaq asked.
“Take the surprise out your voice,” Parker countered.
“She’s always bullying me,” the big man said, laughing at the consistency of their jokes.
During an earlier segment, Parker had a simple answer for Shaq, who suggested the WNBA should lower its rims to attract more fans.
“Nah,” the five-time WNBA All-Star said.
O’Neal argued the WNBA, which is celebrating its 25th season this year, has gained a lot of ground as it pushes to be viewed equally alongside the NBA. He suggested, following the pattern of beach volleyball, the league should make court adjustments to allow women to dunk more frequently. He called it the final missing piece to make the women’s game just as exciting as the men’s league. The WNBA and NBA both currently play with rims at 10 feet.
“Y’all are doing the step-backs, the pull-backs, y’all are doing everything that we are doing,” he said, “but I don’t see a lot of people going up with two hands.”
Parker, who spent 13 years with the Sparks before joining her hometown Chicago Sky during the offseason, was a pioneer of the dunk in the women’s game. She was the first player to dunk in an NCAA tournament game and only the second to do so in the WNBA.
“It’s coming,” Parker promised, adding her next child will be following in her footsteps and dunking.
Earlier this month, she explained to Shaq how 3-point shooting has changed the pick-and-roll.
“You’re going to be manning up, trying to recover back to your man and they’re going to hit a 3,” she said to counter his statement that modern defense is as simple as “man up.”
They went back and forth as Shaq tried to make his case that not every player is a threat as a 3-point shooter. Parker cited the Denver Nuggets’ shooting percentage from beyond the arc during their game against the Milwaukee Bucks to back up her opinion.
“What did they shoot from the 3? They shot 11 of 30. They shot 36 percent,” she said. “This was an off night.”
Her quick math left Lefkoe and co-host Dwyane Wade stunned.
“That Tennessee math!” Parker responded, citing her education from the University of Tennessee where she helped the Lady Vols win back-to-back national championships.
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