On Sunday the Chicago Sky defeated the Phoenix Mercury 80-74, clinching their first WNBA Championship. They won the series three games to one, and Candace Parker won her second NBA title to add to her already legendary list of accolades.
Kobe and Gigi Bryant may have tragically left this earth, but their influence on the world has not dissipated. As it turns out, Parker asked Vanessa Bryant for a 'Kobeism' the morning of game five, hours before Parker and the Sky secured their WNBA championship.
Parker's status as one of the greatest of all time cannot be disputed. Parker now has two WNBA titles, two MVPs, a Rookie of the Year award, six WNBA All-Star selections, six All-WNBA first-team selections, three all-second team selections, a defensive player of the year award, and two NCAA championships. Those are the only accolades I listed, but not nearly all of her accolades. If any WNBA player has a "mamba mentality," Parker is certainly at the top of the list.
Yet the part of this that is the sweetest is that Vanessa Bryant specified Gigi, not Kobe. She told her to play Gigi's way. Gigi Bryant was well on her way to a life of success and for a girl of her talent and determination, there was no limit on what she was going to achieve.
"I think Kobe (Bryant) and Gigi have meant so much to our league," Parker said. "The advice I got from Vanessa before the game was 'play Gigi's way' and I think we did that all playoffs. So I just wanted to acknowledge his contribution and V (Vanessa) said if Gigi could play she would play as hard as she could and so I think that that was huge in our team and just overcoming everything that came today."
It is well-known that Kobe Bryant was a big supporter of the WNBA, and it still resonates to this day. It is important to remember that when anyone references a "mamba mentality," that this means Kobe and Gigi.