Though they walked away with the title in the end, Candace Parker knows she and the Chicago Sky made things much harder than they needed to be last season.
That, she said on Tuesday ahead of their season-opener on Friday, is one of her biggest goals for the 2022 season.
“Not suck in the regular season again this year. We sucked in the regular season last year,” Parker said, via Winsidr’s Dani Bar-Lavi. “This isn’t a ‘feel good’ movie. We aren’t going to go 16-16 and win a championship again.”
Parker’s right. The Sky did suck in the regular season last year.
The team went just 16-16 in the regular season, and many didn’t expect them to make it out of the first single-elimination game in the postseason after entering the year as heavy favorites to reach the Finals.
Yet somehow, the Sky made it all the way to the championship and then rallied to knock off the Phoenix Mercury to win the franchise’s first ever WNBA title.
That win made them the first WNBA team to win the championship after entering the postseason not seeded either No. 1 or No. 2. Parker averaged 14.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in that series while claiming the second title of her career.
So, it all worked out. But the journey could have been much, much easier. And if Parker wants to pull it off a second time, she knows things will have to change.
“Every year you have to reinvent yourself, reinvent what you do and prove what you do,” Parker said, via the Chicago Sun Times. “This year we’re going to need a little bit more from me, [Courtney Vandersloot] and everybody, and we’re going to have to be able to adjust.”