Candace Parker throws punch, gets ejected

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Candace Parker, the WNBA's shining star tried to give a Detroit Shock player a shiner on Tuesday night in a scuffle that ended with three players, including Parker, ejected.

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 Associated Press saw it this way.

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.

Now that I've seen the video this fracas, let me just add this bit of commentary. This game will get more discussion that any other WNBA game this season, except possibly the championship series.

Also, this is obviously another chance for everyone to bag on the good people of Detroit.

It didn't look like a punch was thrown from this video. That looks like a nice takedown from Candace. Two points for wrestling skills.

The Los Angeles Times did not attend the game, but filed a story anyway. This is how the Times saw the scuffle on TV.

The skirmish began when Parker and Shock forward Plenette Pierson tangled arms as they headed up floor following a successful free throw by Sparks guard Marie Ferdinand-Harris, causing both players to tumble to the floor. Pierson quickly rose to her feet and stood over Parker, who then pulled Pierson to the ground.

As both benches emptied, the Sparks' Lisa Leslie came to Parker's aid but was pushed away by Shock assistant coach Rick Mahorn, causing her to fall to the hardwood floor. Sparks forward DeLisha Milton-Jones then slapped Mahorn in the back.

The Detroit Free Press was at The Palace and like the AP, agreed that Parker tried to punch Pierson.

The two were shoving each other when Parker landed on the floor. Pierson walked menacingly toward Parker, and the two started wrestling. Parker appeared to throw a punch.

Wrestling? Menacing walking? The WNBA?

I love this game. Oops, wrong league.

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Here's a clearer look at the nationally-televised fight, complete with commentary.

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Brad Engel

Brad Engel is the longest-tenured member of The Sun sports staff and has won several national and state awards in his coverage of preps as well as the Chicago Bears, Chicago Fire and general sports.

Patrick Mooney

Patrick Mooney covered politics, prep sports and professional baseball for several print and online media outlets before joining The Sun in August 2007. He concentrates on prep sports, writing features, profiles and breaking recruiting news.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Fuchs published on July 22, 2008 11:26 PM.

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