Candace Parker is finally a WNBA champion after the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Minnesota Lynx, 77-76 on Thursday night.
Staying true to her colors, Parker could only say one thing when asked about the teeth-clenching finish to the 2016 WNBA Finals. Speaking to ESPN’s Holly Rowe after the game, Parker gave an emotional tribute to the late former Tennessee Lady Volunteers coach Pat Summitt, who passed away in June.
“This is for Pat,” said Parker as she fought through tears. “This is for Pat.”
Parker — who took home Finals MVP honors after she said she listened to an old speech by Summitt before the game — played for the legendary coach at Tennessee between 2004 and 2008. Parker was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft and is a two-time WNBA MVP, but had never won a league championship before toppling the Lynx.
Game 5 of the 2016 WNBA Finals was intense, with four lead changes in the final 23 seconds and a controversial no-call at the end after Nneka Ogwumike appeared to hit the go-ahead shot despite having the ball in her hand as the shot clock expired.