And she won’t be on the U.S. women’s basketball team at the Rio Olympics, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
No one seems to have a definite answer as to why — USA Basketball declined to comment to Shelburne — though ESPNW’s Mechelle Voepel does some speculating: that there were 13 worthy candidates for just 12 roster spots, and Parker was the odd woman out in favor of first-time Olympians Elena Delle Donne, Brittney Griner and Breanna Stewart (the final roster will be announced Wednesday); that Coach Geno Auriemma wants to stock the team with players he coached at Connecticut (Parker went to rival Tennessee); that the team is likely to skate to its seventh straight Olympic gold medal no matter who’s on the team, so why not try some new things.
Parker tried to be magnanimous Tuesday on Twitter.
Parker did not attend the team’s training camp in February because she was still playing in China (so were Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles), and national team director Carol Callan said during the camp that the team wouldn’t necessarily be composed of the 12 best players, but rather the 12 players who fit together the best.
“Still, this is Candace Parker,” Voepel writes. “Can you picture an NBA player of her age, experience, ability and accomplishment being left off the men’s Olympic team if he’d played in two previous Olympics and remained eager to be a part of it again? Can you imagine being Parker right now and not feeling utterly stunned and angry?”