Those who know tell the WNBA's newest star what's in store.
By Laura Lane
She hasn't even played her first game yet, but Sparks rookie Candace Parker is already being hyped as the face of the WNBA. While most vets are taking a wait-and-see approach to the new girl, we asked five future opponents to size up the other CP3—and the challenges that lurk ahead.
KARA LAWSON, Monarchs
"You can't have off games in this league, and mentally that's tough. You're playing back-to-back, you're traveling, you're criss-crossing the country. And especially for her, coming off that long college season, that's a big adjustment—not only for her body but for her mind, too."
NOELLE QUINN, Lynx
"Forget about off-the-court initiations. On the court, she'll have to look out for herself. Veterans will threaten her and do all of the little things you don't see on your TV screen. Candace has to be ready, because everyone is going to go all out against her."
TICHA PENICHEIRO, Monarchs
"Playing at Tennessee prepared her so well for the league. But right now, she might be more prepared mentally than physically. Who knows what to expect from her bum shoulder?"
SHERYL SWOOPES, Storm
"There was so much hype when Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Seimone Augustus turned pro. And now it's Candace. I think a lot of players take her coming in as a personal challenge. Everybody's talking about the endorsements she has or will get, so they will be gunning for her. She's got a target on her back."
IVORY LATTA, Dream
"People are going to say whatever they want. If she's got the hops to dunk, then why not dunk? They might complain she dribbles too much or whatever, but she's got to do her thing. If she can dunk, then she should throw it down."