Jabari Parker no doubt had high hopes for his time with the Chicago Bulls. It seemed like such a natural fit. The Chicago-born kid comes to his hometown team with a chance to finally get his NBA career off the ground. It was such an easy story to write. Sadly it didn’t pan out as hoped. Parker played just 39 games for the Bulls before being thrown in a trade along with Bobby Portis to get Otto Porter Jr. from Washington.
He averaged 26.7 minutes played per game, scoring 14.3 points with 6.2 rebounds. Pretty much the same level of production he’d been posting in Milwaukee. It’s hard to determine why the team soured on him so quickly. In the end, it may just not have been a good fit. However, Parker himself offered a few hints about what the problem may have been.
In an interview with Khobi Price of the Chicago Sun-Times, he opened up about the breakup and why he’s so much happier in Washington. While he didn’t come right out and point fingers, there were plenty of hints as to who he blames for his eventual exit.
Jabari Parker clearly had no lover for Bulls coaches or brass
Parker admitted that he had high hopes when he arrived in Chicago. It didn’t take him long to realize the entire hometown kid deal had been played out. The organization was likely using his name to sell tickets rather than actively trying to help him get better.
“With Derrick [Rose], his situation ended pretty bitter. With [Dwyane Wade], his situation ended pretty bitter. For myself, it wasn’t how it was supposed to be.”
He soon began to reveal that his primary issue lay with the Bulls coaching staff. Specifically Jim Boylen, who was promoted to the job midseason after Fred Hoiberg was fired. Shortly after that happened, Parker was benched.
“Man, my time in Washington was everything and more. It was like being in jail for a couple of months, and then when you’re free, you just want to be yourself again and catch up on lost times. Those guys in Washington are always going to be on the top of my list as far as my loyalty goes…
… I just wasn’t thinking. I was just out there. I didn’t have to deal with inconsistencies. I didn’t have to deal with mind games. I had coaches there that were very mature — they were players’ coaches. That’s one thing I really loved about them.”
Boylen is not known for being a players coach.
He’s more of the strict disciplinary type. He wants good soldiers who are in shape and do as they’re told. Obviously, Parker didn’t live up to his standard and was soon traded. Such situations can often be a regular occurrence in the NBA. Parker is far from the first victim the Bulls have done this to. Odds are he won’t be the last either.