Utah Jazz: Fan target Jabari Parker shows true colors with statements on defense

Newly signed Chicago Bulls player Jabari Parker talks with media at the United Center Wednesday, July 18, 2018 in Chicago. (Antonio Perez/ChicagoTribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Newly signed Chicago Bulls player Jabari Parker talks with media at the United Center Wednesday, July 18, 2018 in Chicago. (Antonio Perez/ChicagoTribune/TNS via Getty Images) /

Throughout this summer’s free agency, several Utah Jazz fans were pining over Jabari Parker. But his recent statements have likely changed their opinion for good.

Leading up to and throughout this summer’s free agency period, Utah Jazz fans, like any fanbase, often found themselves pining over specific players who they felt would add an extra edge to their team and elevate them to the next level. In the case of several such fans, former Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker was an oft-discussed target.

There’s certainly an argument to be had of why Parker would have been an attractive pickup for the Jazz. He has the potential to be exactly the kind of playmaking four that Jazz brass has been looking for. He’s also just two seasons removed from averaging over 20 points per game, and this past season he shot over 38 percent from deep, making him a potentially nice stretch option.

There were also some who were interested in his fit in Utah due to him belonging to the LDS Church, the predominant faith of the region. But for most, since that had little to do with basketball, it wasn’t really much of a true selling point.

However, even if adding Jabari would have been feasible to begin with (which it really wasn’t), he would have come with several red flags. His attitude, injury history and price were all warning signs the Jazz most certainly considered.

Ultimately, Utah opted to bring back essentially their same group as last year, including Derrick Favors as the starting four, instead of pursuing Parker or a variety of other potentially sexy options. Some fans have been bothered by this, but I’ve maintained that it was the right thing for the team to do.

Regardless of fans’ feelings on that particular matter, though, because of recent news, I would think that those who so deeply wished and hoped for Jabari Parker have likely completely changed their tune.

In a recent appearance on The Bernstein and McKnight Show on 670 The Score, Parker had the following to say, which you can read in the pair of tweets below:

No defense, huh? That tells you a lot about Jabari’s mentality, attitude and effort. It should also tell you exactly why the Jazz truly had no desire in seriously pursuing him. Apparently Parker thinks that basketball should just be layup lines on both ends of the court, because defense isn’t making any sort of impact anyway. Mmhmm, sure.

And players don’t get paid to play defense? Ok then, bud. We’ll just pretend that 3-and-D players aren’t about the hottest commodity in the NBA right now and that defensive specialists haven’t been hailed for years.

Not only that, but look at the Jazz themselves. Rudy Gobert is a defensive monster and alters games – that’s exactly what he’s paid for. Up and down Utah’s roster are contracts with defensive incentives in them as Dennis Lindsey aims to spur his guys on to being stellar on that end of the floor.

And to think that fans wanted Jabari on this team. Anyone want to try telling me how good of a fit he would have been now?

Truthfully, I was never that high on Jabari Parker to begin with and was glad that the Jazz didn’t pursue. Even if they wouldn’t have had to sell the farm to get him (which they would have), I still would have been opposed to it. And this ridiculousness that he recently spouted further backs up that sentiment. His defense rant is akin to complaining about three-hour practices, and that type of player has no place on this Jazz roster.

Next: Utah Jazz: ’18-19 Best/Worst Case Scenario Series: Rudy Gobert

The NBA has the most special basketball talents in the world, Jabari is absolutely right about that. In other words, playing defense against such refined and magnificent scorers is really, really hard. But that’s also what makes it so rewarding and so vital. If Parker can’t capture that, I worry about what kind of impact he’ll ultimately have in the NBA, especially after a career that’s already been disappointing at best.

But more than anything, I’m just glad I don’t have to worry about the kind of impact he would have had on the Utah Jazz.