LOS ANGELES - In a fluke of convenient scheduling, the Lakers and Celtics practiced today at the Staples Center, scene of all things relating to NBA referees, Kings, Games 6, etc., and occasionally, even a little basketball: The Sparks are preparing to tip off against the Detroit Shock, so I'll be able to get my first glimpse of WNBA rookie sensation Candace Parker. The former Tennessee star will make her Arco Arena debut against the Monarchs on Saturday, and from everything I'm hearing, she might already be the best player in the league.
Parker's college exploits were enough to lure longtime Boston Globe columnist and ESPN contributor Bob Ryan to the game. That, and a nudge from Shock coach Bill Laimbeer. Ryan bumped into Laimbeer during a golf outing in Detroit a few weeks ago, and said the former Pistons center asked why he hadn't checked out the women's pro league. I will be curious to hear Ryan's perspective. A former Celtics beat writer, he remains the authority on all things green.