Nneka Ogwumike, who had just hit the game-winning shot, also had tears in her eyes, but she couldn’t move because most of her teammates had jumped on her back.
Both Parker and Moore know that tonight’s game at the Target Center means a little bit more than a normal regular season matchup.
She had just nailed a fadeaway from the right baseline that gave the Lynx a one-point lead with 15.4 seconds left. That was the last time the Sparks and Lynx did battle. The Sparks are 12-3 while the Lynx are 12-1, seemingly on a crash-course for a Finals rematch.
Last year on this walk, the first time Parker had come to this precipice -- one game away from winning the championship that most observers thought she'd have a bookcase full of after her stellar college career at Tennessee -- the entire weight of her decade of unfulfilled expectations, frustrations and insults from a women's game that never truly knew how to embrace her, crashed down upon her. They have things that are clouded in their minds."She'd been feeling it all series and trying to work through it."I think it's a mind block," she said. The Sparks were still one game away from winning a title, but they'd have to do it on the road. She wasn't afraid of it, yet it slipped through her hands. That was the final step, and only she could make it."For me to doubt myself in situations where I've prepared to do all that I can possibly do, I'm just cheating myself," she said Friday. Everybody knows when you're doing something wrong."In particular, she mentioned Sparks guards Chelsea Gray and Odyssey Sims, who dominated the Lynx on Friday."They're unbelievable with the ball," Parker said. ET)."Last year we got ahead of ourselves," she said. You can't worry about what's happening ahead of you, because that's when your focus slips."This time, on the long walk back to the locker room, Parker took her time.
She started focusing on winning a title and not on the game. In-game, she usually dominates by doing a million little things better than just about any women's player on the planet. Her team is even better."You think I'm laughing, but I'm like Tim Duncan with these ladies," she jokes of Duncan in his golden years with the San Antonio Spurs. Sims ran over to Parker as she walked."Love you," Parker told her 25-year-old teammate.
The women's college basketball world lost a true icon on Tuesday.
“He is a great father, very hands-on, and she is in love with him,” Parker said.
Because her mother is the face of the WNBA, Lailaa garnered magazine covers before she was even born.