‘I think we can compete with NBA teams’

During his school and college years, some started comparing him to LeBron James because of his qualities, especially his shooting. He was drafted with the No. 2 pick out of Duke, but suffered two serious left knee injuries that ended a career that seemed destined for absolute success in the NBA. Parker is trying to find a new opportunity at Barcelona after trying to return to multiple teams and not playing last season to find a solution to his physical issues. He is a star signing for the new Barca, but also a risky bet.

How did your first few days with the new team feel?

I feel fine. I had great expectations and so far they have been met on day one.

The first thing fans want to know is how his body is doing.

I feel like I’m in great shape and ready to face this season and the challenges ahead. Everything is fine now.

I hear you have worked hard this year to get back in shape. How are the preparations going this time?

It is important for me to get over the past and for that I have to be at my best. This just happened to change my eating habits. Also changed the way I think. It’s about being at your best physically and mentally in order to do everything you can on the basketball court. I have prepared well for this and I hope that shows in my game as well.

He is said to have received other invitations from Europe, such as Partisans. Why did you choose Barcelona?

I chose Barcelona because of its tradition, because of the desire to win, because of this all-out mentality, a winning mentality that is embedded in the club. Throughout my career, I’ve noticed that in the teams I’ve been on, I enjoy being a part of these kinds of organizations.

Parker poses at the Ciutat Esportiva Pavilion after training

Father Ponty

Has anyone explained to you what you’ll find here?

They told me about the history and the pavilion. It’s not the biggest, but it’s always packed and creates an atmosphere that I like, the type of venue I like to play. It was like that when I was in college, the pavilion was always packed and the atmosphere was great, that’s what I liked.

It’s a very different basketball, too. After spending so many years in American basketball, do you think it took a long time to get used to it?

I’m working on it now and I’m sure a few games and training will help me do that.

Have you heard of the ACB League and Euroleague? What do you expect from them?

I don’t know much about the Spanish league, but I do know about the Europa League. I followed her a lot when I was young, and I think I can get to know her pretty well.

He signed with the NBA for one year, with an exit clause. Is returning to the NBA your dream?

I’m focused on my year here and that’s what I want. In the moment I find myself, the most important thing is not to skip steps, being in the moment is what I want right now.

What do you think you can contribute to the team?

Most of all, I want to be a part of winning. I want us to be one of the best teams and do our best to make it happen.

Do you consider yourself a leader?

Right now I see myself leading in a different way because I’m still new to this basketball and I’m learning to incorporate my qualities to help the team. Currently I am learning.

Has your game changed a lot after this year of preparation? Can the Jabari of today be recognizable from the Jabari we see in the NBA?

What I’m trying to say is that I changed mentally first.

He came to this team after Nikola Mirotic left. Are you concerned that there might be a lot of comparisons between your game and Mirotic’s this year?

I’m not sure and haven’t given it much thought. All I know is that he’s a great player and we’re going to have to face each other because he’s on another team. We’ll see when it comes, all in due time, but I’ll give my best version as best I can.

Oddly enough their careers have crossed. When he leaves Chicago, you arrive at…

Yeah, and then I think he’s in Milwaukee. Well, he’s one of those players you know from these situations, and that’s what happened. I don’t know him personally, but I do know him as a player.

What is your overall opinion of the team after the first training session?

So far so good. My impression is that our team can compete with any team in the world with this year’s players.

Does this include that Barcelona can compete with NBA teams?

really. We have a couple of big players like me, Sato or Willie… our experience is there, playing at the highest level for many years. I think we can compete.

How is your connection with the coach? Has he explained his expectations of you?

Yes, he told me you have to do your best. Whatever my expectations are, I will do my best to achieve them.

How did you adapt to the city and country?

Currently, I’m slowly finding my way, but I hope to soon, and I’m even trying to learn some Spanish. I think this will help me.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Right now I’m mostly spending time at home, but I also wish I could visit the city and see the most beautiful things in it.

I read that he was a very religious man.

Now, it’s not so much a religion as a spiritual experience. I try to see the beauty in people and every aspect of life.

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