December 27, 2014 was always supposed to be a special night for Jabari Parker and the Milwaukee Bucks. We just didn't think it was going to be special like this.
We've known since late summer that the Bucks' prized rookie was going to be honored with his own bobblehead night last Saturday, a little bit of trivia that is at once not important at all (it's just a bobblehead, right?) and extremely important (19-year-olds have to be pretty important for a franchise to bestow them with this kind of thing).
Unfortunately for Parker, his night in the spotlight came while wearing a suit and a knee brace on his left leg, the unfortunate result of the season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered two weeks earlier in Phoenix. Thankfully, Parker has been able to remain upbeat since the injury, and Saturday night gave Bucks fans a chance to reiterate their best wishes for Parker -- and for Jabari to show the love right back.
During a break in the game against the Hawks, Parker appeared on court to thank Bucks fans for their well wishes, including the thousands who had signed a "Get Well Soon, Jabari" banner over the past week.
It wasn't the sort of night Parker would have wanted months ago, but the best we could have hoped for given the circumstances. Now let's hope his next standing ovation will come while wearing a jersey and sneakers sometime next fall, eh?