Copper and Sky Coach James Wade instructed reporters that Parker was the one participant to swimsuit up for Recreation 1 with out pre-finals jitters. However Parker mentioned that wasn’t the case. “I don’t care what number of you’ve been to, there’s nonetheless the jitters you’re going to get, in order that’s not true,” she mentioned. However her expertise in these high-pressure moments helped to her shake off the nervous vitality.
“There’s no purpose to flip out,” Parker mentioned.
The Mercury jumped to an early lead and held a 5-point benefit after the primary quarter. The Sky’s potential to remain calm, nonetheless, enabled them to stun the Mercury within the second quarter, when Chicago outscored Phoenix, 26-10.
Parker praised her teammates for a way they’ve dealt with adversity this season. As a lot because the staff discovered about its potential from a seven-game regular-season successful streak, Parker mentioned she believed the Sky discovered much more from the seven straight losses they tallied whereas she was out with an damage. If the Sky may overcome these losses, end the season with a 16-16 file, make the playoffs because the sixth seed, and make it to the finals, Parker mentioned they might be capable to overcome no matter difficulties the ultimate brings.
“I believe that’s the largest factor through the playoffs is bouncing again and preventing by means of adversity,” she mentioned. “I believe we all know our potential. We all know how we will play and the way we need to play, and we all know our identification.”
However Parker’s familiarity with adversity precedes her time in Chicago.
Her blockbuster transfer to the Sky left Sparks followers shocked. Since Parker’s 2008 rookie season, when she received each the Most Useful Participant and Rookie of the 12 months Awards, her identify had been synonymous with the staff. And with Parker nonetheless taking part in unimaginable basketball effectively into her 30s, successful the Defensive Participant of the 12 months Award in 2020 and serving to the Sparks to a No. 3 playoff seed, the Los Angeles fan base believed one other championship banner within the Parker period was attainable.
However when the Parker period in L.A. ended with out one other championship, individuals wanted somebody accountable, and it wasn’t her. That particular person was Coach Derek Fisher, who infamously benched Parker through the deciding recreation of the 2019 semifinals.