Candace Parker Doesn’t Forget Kobe Bryant as She Credits Her WNBA Title Win to Advice From His Wife Vanessa

Published 10/17/2021, 10:36 PM EDT
Kobe Bryant answers questions during a press conference held at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, Calif.. Thursday, July 15, 2004. Bryant chose the Lakers over the Clippers, remaining with the team he joined in 1996 at age 18 and later helped win three NBA championships. (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)


In 2016, Candace Parker won the Finals MVP when her former team Los Angeles Sparks got the championship ring. That was the same year when Kobe Bryant retired as a Lakers player and that marked a special relationship between the two. 

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So today, as CP won her second NBA title and the first for the Chicago Sky, she didn’t forget to thank Kobe Bryant. After all, the Mamba earlier helped her with footwork and other details. In fact, she revealed something without which her performance might not have been as good as it was.

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Candace Parker and that golden piece of advice from Vanessa Bryant

In the post-game interview, the 35-YO Candace Parker revealed about a recent conversation with Vanessa Bryant. As a pep talk of sorts, Vanessa lifted CP by forcing the right words into her ear.

As the 2x WNBA Champion expressed, “Kobe and Gigi have meant so much early… So the advice I got from Vanessa before the game was, play Gigi’s way. I think we have done that whole playoffs, just wanted to acknowledge. His contribution, and she said if Gigi could play, she would play as hard as she could.”

While the forward-center was explaining this, her team was nodding their head in agreement. So she added, “It was huge in our team and just us overcome everything that came today. So thank you Vanessa, we love you Gigi, we love you Kobe.”

 

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When Shebron met Kobe Bryant for the first time

In January 2020, days after the world lost Kobe Bryant, Candace Parker sat down with an elite panel of players and NBA on TNT anchors to discuss KB. There, she revealed how the Black Mamba took so much interest in the WNBA post his retirement. 

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Candace played 13 seasons in LA after her draft in 2008. So she first met #24 during the Beijing Olympics ‘08. Remembering that first meet, she had expressed, “The first time I met his daughters, he was like, ‘you see these two girls, they’re gonna break all your records one day.’ That was just the competitive spirit that he always had.”

She had further detailed how Kobe would inspire them by sweating it out on the court before their team practice. It was the exposure of these work ethics that shaped a young Candace Parker into a true leader and insane hard worker. So it was only obvious that she would pay a tribute to her mentor.

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#MambaForever 

Watch this story: NBA Players Who Have Played Other Sports

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Sourabh Singh

1739 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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