Black Athletes: Candace Parker Throws Blows at WNBA Game

July 23, 2008


(AP)—Candace Parker wanted to focus on all of the good parts of the Los Angeles Sparks’ win over the Detroit Shock.

Unfortunately, it will be the final 5 seconds that everyone else is going to remember.

Parker was one of three players ejected along with Detroit assistant coach Rick Mahorn after an ugly scuffle with 4.6 seconds left in Los Angeles’ 84-81 victory.

“To be honest, I don’t recall exactly what happened,” said Parker, who led Los Angeles with 21 points. “I’ll have to watch the tape.”

The skirmish started moments after Parker and Detroit’s Cheryl Ford had to be separated after Ford fouled Parker.

On the next possession, Parker got tangled up with Detroit’s Plenette Pierson and fell to the ground. As she was getting up, Pierson intentionally ran into her, setting off the melee.

Parker threw a punch at Pierson before being tackled by Detroit’s Deanna Nolan. Players and coaches from both teams joined in, and Mahorn knocked Lisa Leslie to the court at one point.

“I was trying to protect the whole game, the integrity of the game,” he said. “The WNBA is very special to me because I have four daughters. I don’t even raise my hand to them, and I would never push a woman. This game, I love this game too much.”

Mahorn was also involved in the 2004 Pistons-Pacers brawl while working as a Detroit broadcaster, going into the crowd to try to pull Ron Artest away from fans.

“Rick Mahorn is known as a peacemaker, from even the brawl we had here with Indiana,” Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said. “He went out there to get people off the pile, and to get people to stop the confrontation. That’s who he is, that’s what he does.”

Leslie did not talk to the media, but Los Angeles coach Michael Cooper also said he felt Mahorn was trying to stop the fight…

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Watch Video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Qy0oSz9ownQ

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