“It’s just doing whatever the team needs me to do to help them win. It’s pretty simple.”
There is not a single player in the WNBA whose distinctive combination of reliability and consistency is more valuable than Candice Dupree’s.
You know exactly what you’re going to get out of Pree every night she’s on the floor – something close to a double-double, very few turnovers, and in all likelihood somewhere near 50 percent shooting.
Every game. For 10 years.
“Look, Candice is a major part of what we’re trying to do,” Sandy Brondello said. “There’s no question. She’s so versatile and makes things look easy out there. Her skill-set on the offensive end of the floor is remarkable.”
This season, Dupree ranks 3rd in the WNBA in minutes per game (35.5), and has shot 50.0-percent (20-of-40) over her previous three games while averaging 18.7 points (all wins).
In fact, the Mercury is the only team in the WNBA with three players averaging 15 or more points this season. Dupree’s 15.6 points joins DeWanna Bonner’s 18.4 and Brittney Griner’s 17.3 to combine for 51.3 points each game. Dupree ranks 7th in the WNBA in scoring.
“I know it probably sounds repetitive but I just try to be aggressive on the court,” Dupree said recently. “Whether that’s scoring or focusing on defense, I want to help the team win – in whatever capacity that might be.”
There are some people that just make everything they do look “cool” with absolutely zero effort (Note: I’m not one of those people).
Dupree, on the other hand, very much is.
For example, when Pree signed a contract extension in August of 2014, she didn’t want to do so in any special setting. Didn’t need a formal announcement. On the contrary; she signed her contract inside the Mercury lockerroom after a Friday night home game against the Los Angeles Sparks.
“I don’t want to make it a big deal or anything,” she said at the time.
How cool is that?!
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) August 17, 2014
Indeed, there’s something to be said about how steady she is. For Dupree, though, life — and basketball — are pretty simple.
Work hard, practice humility, have fun and enjoy the ride.