May 17, 2018, on BleacherReport.com

Say hello to the bad guy, they say I’m a bad guy / I come from the bottom but now I’m mad fly / They say I’m a menace, that’s the picture they paint / They say a lot about me, let me tell you what I ain’t.

Candace Parker loves Jay-Z’s “Say Hello.” She too has been labeled many things: egotistical, standoffish to the media, difficult to play with, settles for too many jumpers, is too intense and argues with the referees too much.

“A lot of people love her, and a lot of people on the court hate her because of how good she is, how talented she is, but also because of the confidence she exudes,” says Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike. “She’s very, very misunderstood.”

Few know the real Candace Parker. The woman who gets lost in books and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Kennedy family. The woman who almost two years after Pat Summitt’s death is still sometimes overcome with grief before taking the court. The woman who helped create the blueprint for 6’4” girls to pop threes, dazzle the ball between their legs and loop passes behind their backs. Parker is a pioneer, but she certainly isn’t past-tense.

Ten years into the league and she is arguably the most undervalued great of our time: two WNBA MVPs, one Finals MVP, two Olympic gold medals, one WNBA championship and trips to the Finals the last two seasons. And yet she seems to have been forgotten in a game that is trending younger and quicker. As women’s hoops has evolved into its most dynamic style yet, it’s easy to admire the building and forget about the architects. (READ FULL STORY HERE).