Candace Parker was named the WNBA MVP Friday in one of the closest races in the league's history, garnering 276.79 points to beat out Lindsay Whalen, who finished second with 242.08 points and Sue Bird, who took third (218.51). Parker becomes the first rookie in league history to earn MVP and the first to earn both that and the Rookie of the Year award.
A national media panel accounted for 75 percent of the vote, while fan voting made up the other 25 percent.
"It would mean a lot to me, playing in that highest level and actually winning the MVP award," Parker told the L.A. Times.
Parker has great numbers, but I don't believe she's deserving of the award. She was one of three Olympians on a team that finished well below expectations. Truthfully, I was surprised Whalen finished so high after missing three games late in the season with an ankle injury, but I consider her a better candidate than Parker, who also had the popularity vote working for her. Earlier this week, the WNBA released that Parker's jersey is the top seller in the WNBA. A few weeks ago, I said I thought Sophia Young would win this award, but she finished a distant fourth (169.62). Diana Taurasi finished fifth and Asjha Jones finished ninth.