Candace Parker may still be an active athlete—as she recently joined the Chicago Sky's WNBA basketball team. But that doesn't mean she isn't killing it on the sidelines. She joined NBA on TNT show as a host along with giants, like Shaquille O'Neal, and she proves time and time again why she is the GOAT.
In fact, the popular charismatic duo have been taking over sports fans' hearts with classic commentary to keep us all coming back.
Recently, Candace and Shaq's banter made headlines when co-host Adam Lefkoe asked Parker for her opinion, he referred to her as "reigning Defensive Player of the Year." Which. She. Was. After all, she led the WNBA in defensive rebounds and was in the top 10 for blocked shots per game last season. #hairflip
"You were Defensive Player of the Year?!" Shaq asked. Her quick wit countered in the best way possible as she said:
"Take the surprise out your voice, Shaq."
And the best part of it all is this isn't the first, or thirtieth, time she has gotten Shaq's ponytail together. O'Neal argued the WNBA, which is celebrating its 25th season this year, has finally gained popularity as it pushes to be viewed equally alongside the NBA. He then suggested lowering the rim to allow women to dunk. He called it "the final missing piece to make the women's game just as exciting as the men's league."
Well, sis wasn't feeling that whaaaaatsoever as she immediately said:
Shaq continued to plead his case to the panel, to which she didn't care a single bit. After all, she is the first to dunk in a women's NCAA tournament game, and the second ever in the WNBA. She snapped back:
"It's coming...My next child will be drop step dunking."
Let him know!
Honestly though, the best part of seeing them work together is knowing that Black women are making their mark in sports commentating. And not only making a mark, carving it. Read on for 5 other Black women making a name in the sports commentator game.
Jemele Hill lives and breathes sport commentating as former host of 'Number's Never Lie' and 'His & Hers'.
Jemele Hill worked for ESPN for nearly 12 years, before retiring in 2018. She now writes for The Atlantic and co-hosts Vice's Cari & Jemele (Won't) Stick to Sports with Cari Champion (more on her later).
Alex Scott retired and began commentating to move the sport along.
Alex Scott is a British retired football (soccer) player for Arsenal. She commentates for BBC Sport and Sky Sports and was featured during the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. She also covers the English Premier League. Soccer fans are familiar with her resume as she became the first female football broadcaster at a World Cup for the BBC.
Cari Champion leveraged her personality to a highly-sought after voice in sports.
The 6'1'' California Native worked her way up to becoming an anchor for ESPN's SportsCenter and First Take with Stephen A. Smith. She left the network after almost six years in February 2020. She now co-hosts Cari & Jemele (Won't) Stick to Sports with Jemele Hill, and her message has remained the same throughout her career: "Use your platform for good."
Maria Taylor went from volleyball player to sideline reporter.
Maria Taylor is an analyst and host for ESPN and the SEC Network. She covers college football, college volleyball, NBA, NFL, and college men's and women's basketball. She recently made headlines for being selected as the commencement speaker for her alma mater, the University of Georgia.
Taylor Rooks is putting in the work to build upon her own legacy.
Taylor Rooks, the youngest of the bunch at 28, currently appears on Bleacher Report and Turner Sports. Two months out of college, she became an on-air host, reporter, and correspondent for the Big Ten Network. She has built a large social media following and has a long career ahead of her.
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Featured image by Candace Parker/Instagram