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Jabari Parker says ‘they don’t pay people to play defense’

Jabari Parker, Bulls

Receiving criticism for his defense is nothing new for the Chicago Bulls, Jabari Parker. It appears that he isn’t letting this criticism affect him.

Parker spoke with Bernstein and McKnight from WSCR 670 The Score and had this to say:

“I just stick to my strengths. Look at the league…they don’t pay people to play defense. To say that’s a weakness…you can say that’s everybody’s weakness.”

It’s hard to decipher this statement. The top paid players in the league are all known for their offensive talent. But that doesn’t mean that high-level defenders don’t get paid as well. Rudy Gobert and Jrue Holiday are two prime examples of elite defenders that get paid upwards of $20 million—so more than Parker.

But the big issue with this statement is that it appears like Parker is minimizing the importance of defense. Instead of discussing how he plans to improve his defense, he seemed to question whether or not defense matters at all. There’s no doubt that it’s an offensively driven league, but to proclaim that defense is “everybody’s weakness” is just insane.

This is reminiscent of a kid returning home with a failing grade on a test. He tries to explain to his parents that it’s no big deal because everyone failed the test. That trick never worked back then and it certainly doesn’t work now.

Words are unimportant. Parker can brush aside any talk of defense now. But once the season begins, everyone in Chicago will want to see an improvement in his defense, regardless of how well he is paid for it.