Jabari Parker is finally hooping and happy again, as he recently signed a new contract across the Atlantic Ocean in Barcelona. The 28-year-old wasn’t receiving the offers he was expecting in the NBA and decided to produce one off the most exciting moves of the summer, landing in one of the greatest teams in European basketball.
The power forward, who was once the second pick of the 2014 Draft, talked about the reasons behind his decision, his recent adaptation in Spain, and also criticized the NBA as he explained himself.
“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,” he said in a recent interview, which has already created a lot of debate in social media.
“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,” Jabari expressed. “It’s a lot of things that are out of our control. Euroleague and the fans are expecting a lot, and we as players expect a lot from ourselves and we want to compete.”
About his general state of mind, the player says he’s positive and hopes to provide all his experience into his new Spanish club. “I feel good, personally, about coming into the year with this much depth and experience. So far it’s been alright, I think it’s going to be good,” he said.
About the differences between the NBA and European basketball, he preferred not to talk too much about it since he just arrived in Spain a month ago.
“I don’t have so much of an opinion because I am inexperienced, but I think later I will figure it out,” Parker admitted. “So far it’s pretty much similar to how we played in high school or college, where you could stay in the paint since there is no defensive three. So far it’s nice.”
Parker also weighed in on the controversial debate around the ‘world champion’ comments sparked by olympic sprinter Noah Lyles
Ever since U.S. sprinter Noah Lyles made fun of NBA players who celebrate as world champions for winning the domestic competition, almost every basketball player has been asked to give their take on the matter. Parker, in this case, tries to be as realistic as possible.
“Well, you see it now, right? Everybody can lose,” he started out. “The game has grown since the ’60s and ’70s, when it was predominantly American. Now basketball has been global, to be the world champion you have to play against the best in the world. And especially Euroleague might have, arguably, some of the better players consistently on a team.”
Live from the City of Counts, Jabari Parker checking in for his time with Barcelona while rocking the Kobe 11. pic.twitter.com/R1Qjv89JrQ
— SLAM Kicks (@SLAMKicks) September 25, 2023
The 28-year-old then digged deeper into his criticism of the NBA, explaining how some players aren’t necessarily signed by teams because of their talent, and that has a negative effect on the sport.
“In the NBA you have a lot of counterparts that don’t really contribute to a talent, maybe political, maybe a favor, whatever. Out here you have to play, you have to be able to be good, you have to have some experience and you see it with teams like us: Abrines played with OKC, Jan played in the Wizards, Sato… This is not like baseball where you have veterans that stay on a team, there is no minor league, where is the room for experienced guys and veterans?” he concluded.