Candace Parker wants to play another WNBA season, but only if she is fully healthy, she told Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America.”
The two-time WNBA MVP missed the second half of the 2023 season after undergoing surgery to repair a foot fracture in July. Before the surgery, the 37-year-old started in the first 18 games of the season for the Las Vegas Aces, averaging 9.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
“I’m coming off a foot surgery. If I’m healthy, I’m going to play. But I’m not going to play in pain anymore,” she said Thursday.
She shared the same sentiment in an interview with the Associated Press, noting that she played on her injured foot throughout the first half of the 2023 season. She is still rehabbing the injury, and she has other priorities: “I want to be able to go out to the beach. I love playing beach volleyball. I don’t know if one more season is worth risking that.”
Parker enters the offseason as a free agent. She signed a one-year deal with the Aces ahead of the 2023 season.
“If I’m healthy, I’m going to play, but the game of basketball is in amazing hands regardless,” she told Roberts.
Parker saw the future of the game up close as a member of the Aces. While she had to watch from the sidelines as the Las Vegas Aces won the championship, she spent the season working alongside head coach Becky Hammon, who won her second title in as many years, and A’ja Wilson, who took home the Finals MVP award.
“I realized why they’re a first-class organization: Becky Hammon, the way she brings everybody together; A’ja, I was extremely proud of the leader she’s been all season; Chelsea Gray; Kelsey Plum — go down the line,” Parker said. “I just was really happy to be a part of that.
“And it’s extremely humbling to do it from the sideline, from a different vantage point, but it was so special to see the adversity that the team was able to overcome.”
Parker is preparing for the debut of her documentary, “Candace Parker: Unapologetic,” which will premiere at 9 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN.