Wizards’ Jabari Parker calls time with Bulls ‘a learning experience’
Washington Wizards forward Jabari Parker has enjoyed an incredible month of March, shooting above 50 percent in nine of his 10 games this month. But before that, he dealt with his share of obstacles throughout a challenging first half of the season with the Chicago Bulls.
After escaping a troubled situation in Milwaukee, Parker signed with the Bulls for two years and $40 million, but the sudden firing of Fred Hoiberg immediately put his basketball career at risk when new coach Jim Boylen sat him indefinitely due to his defensive woes:
“It was a learning experience for me,” Parker told Fred Katz of The Athletic. “You can’t be real with everybody, because they’re not real, themselves. And I wasn’t meaning that defense isn’t important, but we gotta be real.”
Parker hadn’t been a defensive factor since returning from his last ACL tear, but the Chicago native admitted that his only way out of that doghouse was by waiting for the right time to make the right impression:
“It’s up to the player to overcome all those frustrations and lack of relationship to perform,” Parker said. “So, it can be on either end. I can personally say that I have handled both of those once before, you know, in Chicago. I just (didn’t) have the best relationship (with Boylen). But I made sure I was there. There’s no, ‘What can you say that he did wrong?’ When I got my opportunity, I took advantage of it because I know how much I love this game.”
The Wizards were both impressed by his professionalism and enticed by his talent, swinging Otto Porter Jr. to the Windy City in return for Parker and young big man Bobby Portis. The trade gave them more frontcourt depth and helped their salary cap flexibility moving forward.