Jabari Parker’s NBA career has not gone the way many expected since the Milwaukee Bucks selected him No. 2 overall in the 2014 draft. Boasting sky-high potential, injuries have pivoted his career trajectory, leaving a somewhat lasting asterisk on what could have been.
His past three seasons in particular have been quite the whirlwind. Inking a two-year deal with the Boston Celtics last Friday, Parker is now on his fifth team since the start of the 2018 season. Despite his remaining scoring prowess, numerous teams have chewed up the forward and spit him out — none more so than the Sacramento Kings, who played Parker a total of just 107 minutes before waiving him three weeks ago.
However, throughout all his trials and tribulations on the hardwood, Parker continues to bank on himself. And for all those who doubt his abilities, Parker has a message for you:
“I remember my dad, when I was six years old, pulled me to the side when he saw me giving up on a play and I was walking off, and he told me after that to never give up,” Parker told reporters on Monday morning. “So that pretty much stuck with me, and I’ll never give up and I’ll always give myself a shot.”
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Celtics!
Parker Praises Celtics
It may be a limited sample size, but so far Parker’s signing in Boston is passing with flying colors. As we touched on above, the seven-year pro failed to ever truly crack Luke Walton’s rotation in Sacramento. Yet, one game into his Boston tenure, and Parker found himself on the floor for 15 minutes, including the final two minutes of a highly-contested game against the Warriors. Parker was brought to Beantown to add an offensive punch off the bench, and against Golden State he did just that. The Chicago native knocked down 5-of-6 shots for 11 points.
“Well, we went through the stretch at the start of the fourth quarter. We needed to score. He gave us some opportunities there,” Stevens said of Parker following the game. “Both in the first half and in the second when he played on the baseline, he played to his strengths, (he) did a lot of good things… pretty good for his first night.”
Parker is hopeful to play a pivotal role for the Celtics down the stretch. Yet, for now, he’s simply taking things one game at a time.
“It’s always good to be on the court and, most importantly, just blessed to have good health,” he said. “So hopefully I can use this as a good learning experience, and just keep on the good habits that I look forward to keeping.”
After a rocky few seasons, Parker is excited about the possibilities that his new surroundings can potentially bring.
“I’ve been a fan of the Boston Celtics,” he said. “They just do things the right way, as far as the teamwork, the hard work, and preparation. And hopefully, I can be integrated and rub off on those guys as far as their work ethic and their habits.”