Well, good luck with that.
Barely a day after Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson went on Chicago radio station 670 The Score to say the team’s newly acquired players, Jabari Parker and Zach LaVine, should learn to play better defense, Parker went on that same radio station with a slightly different message: “Well, I don’t know.”
The Chicago native was asked whether or not he thought he could be a good defender.
“I just stick to my strengths,” Parker said. “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.”
The 23-year-old Parker took his defensive take a step further by saying he welcomes opponents putting up points on him.
“They pay people to score the ball, and I would hope that somebody scores the ball on me if they paid them that much,” he said. “So I’m not saying that’s a cop out or nothing, but it’s the NBA. We’re professionals, everybody scores. It’s just a matter of limiting them as much as you can and trying to contain them.”
Parker and the Bulls agreed to a two-year, $40 million deal on Saturday. There is a team option for the second year of the contract.
Parker’s often-controversial time in Milwaukee ended last month after the Bucks agreed to rescind their qualifying offer, which made him a free agent. It was reported the Bucks had become frustrated with Parker’s immaturity.
The Bucks drafted Parker No. 2 overall in 2014 after a successful freshman year at Duke. He played just 183 games in four seasons, missing much of his first, third and final year there because of two ACL surgeries. In that time, the forward averaged 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and two assists per game.