Getting back in L.A. groove

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Candace Parker has gotten out of the gates quickly this season, averaging a double-double through the Sparks' first three games.

Life has been a whirlwind since returning from my Russian team in early May. This past "offseason" I played basketball in Ekaterinburg, Russia, for UMMC. We had a successful season and swept the triple crown, winning the Russian Cup, Euroleague Championship and Russian Super League Championship. I'm hoping I can take what I learned overseas and apply it to make this WNBA season a successful one.

I love being back in Los Angeles. Over the years this city has really become home. I love getting out and about and exploring all L.A. has to offer. My husband, Shelden, is back from his overseas season in France and my daughter, Lailaa, is settled into her daily routine of school, gymnastics and swim class. Our days are filled from start to finish and I am exhausted by nightfall. I can't help but smile to have all of my family together in one place.

Recently, Shelden and I were able to get away with one of my best friends for a movie screening of “White House Down.” We really enjoyed Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum's movie -- it really is a must see. After the screening we went to Boa Steakhouse in Beverly Hills and enjoyed great food and great company. I love nights like this and it makes me enjoy Los Angeles that much more.

The WNBA season has begun and you best believe I can still taste my tears and feel the knot in my stomach after we lost last season. The feeling of defeat alone is not going to get us back to the playoffs, but I'm hoping it can serve as motivation to make us do better and work harder in everything we do this season.

I cannot believe this is my sixth season in the league. Time sure does fly, but I've learned and matured a great deal. I realize it’s not how you start, but how you finish. Throughout the season you are going to have highs and lows. Don't ride those waves. Stay even-keeled because you are never as bad as you think, nor as great as you think! There’s always room for improvement.

Good health and love. Thanks for your support!

-- Candace