Candace Parker and Geno Auriemma, rivals since 2004, still do not like each other.
That’s according to Parker, who spilled the tea about her relationship — or lack thereof — with the legendary UConn and USA women’s basketball coach to Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks.
Parker said she doesn’t have a relationship with USA Basketball, claiming that she was left off the Olympic squad by Auriemma for “non-basketball” reasons despite having dominated tryout camps before the 2016 Games.
“I don’t think Geno wanted me on the team,” Parker said.
Parker, who played for Auriemma and won gold at the 2012 Games, seemed to be fine with the snub, though she resents having squandered time away from her daughter if she never had a chance in the first place.
“Don’t beat around the bush, just tell people,” Parker said. “He doesn’t like me. I don’t like him. We don’t like each other. But I’m of the mindset that I don’t have to like you to play or work with you. It’s fine. It’s cool.”
Parker said that she was actually more upset that Team USA left former WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike off the team for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Parker, who played at UConn arch-rival Tennessee from 2004-2008 — a span in which the Huskies did not win a national title — felt Auriemma gave more “grace” to his former UConn players in Team USA considerations.
Parker, 35, won two national titles at Tennessee. She’s a six-time WNBA All-Star, has won MVP honors twice and had a pair of championships to go with her two Olympic golds. Auriemma, 67, has won 11 national titles at UConn.