The 2014 NBA No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker is revealing the true reason why he left the NBA to join FC Barcelona in the EuroLeague. The former Duke star spent nine years in the NBA before heading to Barcelona this year.
According to Parker, he no longer wanted to play in the NBA because only a few teams are competitive while many have a tanking culture.
Parker explained, “I just want to be a part of something legitimate. I want to be a part of ‘every game matters'. Sadly, the NBA is a business, and there are 10-12 teams that try to win every game, and the other half try to get a draft pick. Where does that leave good players? You either have to be super good or bad, to lose games. It's no excuse to see DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, or John Wall, guys who are potentially going into the Hall of Fame… seeing those guys not have a job? We are seeing the league getting watered down, unfortunately,” via Alex Molina of Euro Hoops.
"I just want to be a part of something legitimate. I want to be a part of 'every game matters'. Sadly, the NBA is a business and there are 10-12 teams that try to win every game and the other half try to get a draft pick. Where does that leave good players? You either have to be… pic.twitter.com/jQyA3mH1KD
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 26, 2023
Jabari Parker is definitely right to an extent about some of his points. The NBA has been known for tanking more than potentially any other league and regularly sees superstars go to waste if they are not on contenders. Meanwhile, Parker is joining a team in FC Barcelona who is regularly one of the top teams in Spanish basketball.
It's also noteworthy that Parker may not have had many competitive chances left in the NBA. After spending 2014-18 with the Milwaukee Bucks, who drafted him, Parker had stints with the Bulls, Wizards, Hawks, Kings, and Celtics. The last two teams both waived Parker, so it also seems he had slim options to playing a major role in the NBA going forward.