Candace Parker Announces Retirement From WNBA After 16 Seasons

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Candace Parker, a three-time WNBA champion and longstanding icon of the women’s game, announced her retirement on social media on Sunday.

The former Las Vegas Aces star explained why she was calling it quits on a decorated 16-year career in an emotional Instagram post.

“I promised I’d never cheat the game & that I’d leave it in a better place than I came into it,” Parker said. “The competitor in me always wants 1 more, but it’s time. My HEART & body knew, but I needed to give my mind time to accept it. I always wanted to walk off the court with no parade or tour, just privately with the ones I love. What now was to be my last game, I walked off the court with my daughter. I ended the journey just as I started it, with her.”

Parker continued, “I’m grateful that for 16 years I PLAYED A GAME for a living & DESPITE all the injuries, I hooped. I’m grateful for family, friends, teammates, coaches, doctors, trainers & fans who made this journey so special.”

The 38-year-old Parker was the No. 1 pick in the 2008 WNBA draft. She played for the Los Angeles Sparks, Chicago Sky and most recently, the Las Vegas Aces, during her 16-year stint in the league, winning a championship with each team.

The two-time league MVP and seven-time All-Star out of Tennessee missed most of the 2023 season due to a foot injury. Parker played her final game on July 7. 

“The Las Vegas Aces family is thankful for the role Candace played in the 2023 WNBA championship season and for giving all of us the opportunity to watch one of the GOATs of the game over the past two decades,” the team said in a statement.

Kristen Wong


Kristen Wong is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. She has been a sports journalist since 2020. Before joining SI, Kristen covered four NFL teams as an associate editor with the FanSided NFL Network and worked as a staff writer for the brand’s flagship site. She has written about soccer, the NFL, NBA, and MLB since 2020, and outside of work, has dreams of running her own sporty dive bar.