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Candace Parker announces retirement after 16-year WNBA career

The WNBA is entering a new era amid recent interest in the league and now following the news that Candace Parker has officially announced her retirement. She is among basketball’s most decorated athletes, with a career spanning 16 years, from being the No. 1 draft pick in 2008 to her final game in July 2023.

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On Sunday (April 28), she posted a photo to Instagram with a caption that revealed her decision to step away from the game for good. “I’m retiring. I promised I’d never cheat the game and that I’d leave it in a better place than I came into it. The competitor in me always wants [one] more, but it’s time. My HEART and body knew, but I needed to give my mind time to accept it,” she wrote.

Parker was sidelined most of the 2023 season after suffering a foot injury while playing with the Las Vegas Aces. “This offseason hasn’t been fun on a foot that isn’t cooperating. It’s no fun playing in pain (10 surgeries in my career) it’s no fun knowing what you could do, if only… It’s no fun hearing ‘She isn’t the same’ when I know why, it’s no fun accepting the fact you need surgery AGAIN,” noted the three-time WNBA Championship winner.

Despite the setbacks, Parker applauded herself for hooping through it all and that “on and off the court, I’m proud I’ve always been true and stayed true to ME, even when it wasn’t popular.” She went on to express gratitude for those who were by her side throughout the journey.

The two-time MVP isn’t sitting idly by either, she already has some of her next chapter charted. She shared, “In the meantime, know I’M A BUSINESS, man, not a businessman. This is the beginning… I’m attacking business, private equity, ownership (I will own both an NBA and WNBA team), broadcasting, production, boardrooms, beach volleyball, dominoes (sorry, babe, it’s going to get more real) with the same intensity and focus I did basketball.”

The WNBA season starts on May 14, with incoming rookies Angel Reese, Kamilla Cardoso and Caitlin Clark all drumming up excitement for what is to come.

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