Before Jabari Parker can become the superstar many project him and he expects to be, the Milwaukee Bucks rookie knows he needs to first beat a long-held NBA stigma. As the second overall pick in his draft class, Parker is following the path of infamous names like Evan Turner, Hasheem Thabeet, Michael Beasley, and Darko Milicic. Make no mistake, though – Parker is fully intent on going a different direction than those wayward draft busts.
Speaking at a Jordan event in Chicago on Saturday morning, the 19 year-old Parker indicated that he plans to achieve a humbling, even superstitious goal before embarking on his longterm one.
“There’s been a lot of second pick busts,” Parker said Saturday morning, at the grand opening of the redesigned Jordan space inside Nike Chicago. “I’m just trying not to be that bust. Everyday that I step on the court, I just remind myself that I have a long ways to go. If I want to be one of those guys in the first tier of the NBA, like a LeBron, like a Kobe, like a [Blake Griffin], then I have to have that mentality starting off from the ground, and work my way up.”
There’s no indication that the misfortune which befell Thabeet, Milicic, and company will stricken Parker other than that Milwaukee took him with the second pick of the draft. The 2014 rookie class is notoriously loaded, and Parker was a legitimate candidate to be chosen first overall in the days leading up to the Cleveland Cavaliers ultimately opting for Andrew Wiggins. In fact, it seems more likely that Parker’s name will be included among those like James and Bryant as opposed to Turner and Beasley once his career is over.
But it’s certainly encouraging that Parker remains grounded. As his up-and-down play at Summer League made clear, his adjustment to the NBA game will be a big one despite his prodigious talent-level. Early-season struggles are commonplace for rookies, though, and Parker’s mindset will go a long way towards ensuring they’re mostly fleeting, if developed at all in the first place.
What are the chances that Parker busts?
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