The Bulls introduced Jabari Parker on Wednesday morning at the Advocate Center. John Paxson, Gar Forman and Fred Hoiberg naturally all expressed excitement about adding another talented young player to the core, with Paxson noting that the Bulls were interested in Parker “from Day 1.”
Parker emphasized that it’s a dream come true to play for his hometown Bulls, and he said once they showed interest in him he knew where he wanted to be. He admitted there was interest from other teams, but the Bulls were always his No. 1 choice, excited to join the Bulls’ young core and grow with them.
But an unintentionally-hilarious moment occurred on Parker’s first day when asked by 670 The Score’s Dan Bernstein during a post-presser interview about defense, and let’s just say that Jabari cares more about getting buckets. Via Bernstein’s post-interview column:
“I don’t know,” he said, “I just stick to my strengths. Look at everybody in the league -- they don’t pay players to play defense. I’m not gonna say that I won’t, but to say that’s a weakness is like saying that’s everybody’s weakness. I’ve scored 30s and 20s off of guys who say they try to play defense.”
But what about the switching Paxson detailed, the need in position-less ball to at least try enough to keep an offensive player in front of you for a dribble or two? In answering that, Parker was more fatalistic in his belief that scorers are just going to score, and that’s how it is regardless of any effort to oppose them.
”Certain guys have a (scoring) average, and no matter what you do they still get that average,” he said. ”They pay people to score the ball, and I would hope that somebody scores the ball on me if they paid them that much.”
Parker later mentioned how “better offense wins a championship,” and I’m already preparing myself for those 120-115 Bulls games next season, though Hoiberg is apparently a big believer in Parker’s ability to be an effective defender who guards multiple positions.
It was somewhat fitting that Parker said goofy stuff to the media today, because he also spoke glowingly about Derrick Rose, a fellow Bull from Simeon Academy in Chicago. Will #JabariParkerSaysStuff become a thing? Stay tuned to find out! I can at least agree that the Bulls should be a pretty fun team to watch, even if they aren’t actually good.