Chicago forward/center Candace Parker has long prided herself on being a playmaker as a post player, and on Sunday she became the oldest player in WNBA history to record a triple -double.
Parker, who turned 36 in April, had 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists as defending WNBA champion Sky won Washington 82-73.
Sky moved to 3-2 on aggregate as Parker became the third player in league history to have more than one triple-double. She joined Sky teammate Courtney Vandersloot, a guard, and retired Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes, a guard/forward.
Like Parker now, Vandersloot and Swoopes each have two triple-doubles; in their case, one was in the regular season and one was in the playoffs. For Parker, both have been in the regular season; her first was on July 28, 2017, when she played for the Los Angeles Sparks.
Swoopes, whose triple-doubles came in 1999 and 2005 with the Houston Comets, was the oldest player to record a triple-double in the WNBA, recording her second at age 34. Swoopes was a three-time MVP, and Parker won that honor twice.
“It means a lot,” Parker said. “Being around Sloot, who’s going to end his career probably leading the league in assists, and then Sheryl Swoopes – I grew up watching her play and idolizing her.
“I still have [been] the person who said: “The posts can also dribble, and the posts can also pass. I hope the coaches are watching. I hope the game evolves. We’re going to see more and more triple doubles.”
Vandersloot earned his second career triple-double last season in the playoff semifinals as the Sky were en route to the franchise’s first championship. His first was in 2018.
On Sunday, Vandersloot was aware that Parker was just one pass away from the milestone. Vandersloot called his own number to make the basket that would give Parker that 10th assist, which came with just 21.2 seconds left.
“She told me to [pass to] her and she was going to make the layup,” said Parker, who came to Chicago as a free agent last season. “She was adamant about me getting my 10th assist. That’s why I love this band. We play for each other, we are excited for each other’s successes and we celebrate it.”
Coach James Wade said: “It’s just a special moment. It’s amazing, the chemistry of these two. Courtney must have made a tough lay-up. … I just enjoy coaching them both.”
Parker’s triple-double was the big story of the day for the Sky, but they also celebrated the return of guard/forward Kahleah Copper, who played in her first game of the WNBA season after recently winning the league championship. Spanish League.
Copper, the WNBA Finals MVP last season, had 12 points and four rebounds on Sunday.