Candace Parker makes history as first woman to call NBA All-Star Game: ‘I have to pinch myself’

Only two months into 2023, Candace Parker has managed to shake up the basketball world twice. In the WNBA star’s latest move, Parker will make her NBA All-Star Game analyst debut as the first woman to call the event.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and play-by-play announcer Brian Anderson will appear on the broadcast team for the midseason event as well, TNT announced Tuesday.

Green will join Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith for “Inside the All-Star Game,” an alternate broadcast on TBS while Anderson will call the NBA All-Star Game for the first time. He is usually seen doing play-by-play for Milwaukee Bucks games, the NCAA tournament and “NBA on TNT.”

Parker, a two-time WNBA champion, unexpectedly announced that she’d sign with the Las Vegas Aces late last month. She has worked for Turner Sports since 2018.

Initially appearing on NBA TV, TNT and March Madness broadcasts, she joined the inaugural cast of “Inside the NBA” in 2020. On the Tuesday studio show, she can be seen shooting the lights out in full professional attire or schooling O’Neal in one of their spirited debates.

At 36, Parker has broken WNBA records and even made history as the first woman to cover the popular “NBA2K” video game. She also has her own production company, titled “Baby Hair Productions,” that debuted a documentary about Title IX during March Madness last year.

Her latest gig at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19 sounds like it will resonate differently than all of those accomplishments.

“I’m a fan, first and foremost, of the NBA and especially the All-Star Game,” Parker said in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Howard Beck. “And so I think the fan of the game, and the childhood Candace is — I have to pinch myself to believe that I’m doing it, and that I’m able to have a courtside seat to see the best players in the world.”

Even back when Parker toyed with the idea of retiring from the WNBA last year, it would have been difficult to overstate her impact on the game. Now as she prepares for her 16th season as a player, we’re reminded her legacy will live on through her off-the-court endeavors, as well.

TNT broadcaster Candace Parker during the Golden State Warriors game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. TNT broadcaster Candace Parker during the Golden State Warriors game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center.

Candace Parker continues to make history. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)