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Cynthia Cooper On Shaq’s Lower The Rim Comment: ‘We Didn’t Tell Guys Bring The Rim Closer So Shaq Can Make A Free Throw’

TNT’s Tuesday night NBA studio show has become arguably their better basketball discussion show, if for no other reason than the presence of Candace Parker and Dwyane Wade talking hoops, along with Shaq and host Adam Lefkoe.

Parker and Shaq have become occasional adversaries on the set because of some very differing opinions on the modern game, both in the NBA and, as we learned on Thursday, in the WNBA. After giving Shaq a lesson in modern pick-and-roll defense a couple weeks back, the two once again had some tense moments this week when Shaq suggested the WNBA lower the rim to 9 feet to allow for more dunks, a suggestion that had Candace taken aback.

Naturally this moment sparked lots of conversation on social media over the last couple days, with many (but not all) in the WNBA community siding with Parker. Hall of Famer Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was on the show that night prior to this conversation, but didn’t have a chance to offer her own rebuttal until Thursday, when she joined Trill Withers on the NBA Alumni’s Legends Live podcast and she didn’t hold back on Shaq or his suggestion.

Coop made a ton of great points about how the game is ever-evolving and how in the future the WNBA almost assuredly will have women who are dunking more often, in a similar vein to how the NBA used to feature few high-flyers and more floor-bound skill players — a point Candace made when saying her daughter will be drop-step dunking some day. However, the funniest part is when she talks about how women have never told the NBA what they should be doing, whether that be raising the rim because it’s too easy for 7-footers to dunk or making “the rim closer so Shaq can make a free throw.”

It’s a really good conversation and Coop has seen the growth of the women’s game from the earliest days of the WNBA so her input here is interesting to hear.

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