Jabari Parker: ‘They Don’t Pay Players to Play Defense’

by July 19, 2018
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Don’t expect Jabari Parker to start locking people up next season, Bulls fans: he says that’s not what NBA players get paid to do.

Parker will instead focus on what he does best in Chicago: getting buckets.

“I just stick to my strengths. Look at everybody in the league. They don’t pay players to play defense. There’s only two people historically that play defense. I’m not going to say I won’t, but to say that’s a weakness is like saying that’s everybody’s weakness. Because I’ve scored 30 and 20 on a lot of guys that say they play defense.

“If you know the game, you also know that everyone’s a pro, right? And you know that certain guys have an average. No matter what you do, they still get that average. They pay people to score the ball, and I would hope that somebody scores the ball on me if they pay them that much. So, I’m not saying that to cop out or nothing. It’s the NBA. We’re professionals. Everybody scores. It’s just about limiting them as much as you can, trying to contain them.”

Parker, 23, inked a two-year, $40 million deal with his hometown squad.

Per 670 The Score:

“I felt like I wanted to a Chicago Bull as soon as they showed interest,” Parker said. “Because it’s always been a dream to me, especially to come back home.”

If the year-long experiment works, they can exercise the team option for $20 million or decline it and sign him to a new deal if Parker seeks longer-term security. In that latter case, the new deal could be for up to four years. If this doesn’t work out, Chicago can let him walk next summer and be a major player in free agency with ample cap space in July 2019.

“I don’t look at is as a lot of pressure,” Parker said of returning to his hometown. “I’m just looking forward to building new memories, especially with the young core that we have.”