Jabari Parker speaks with the media today after practice. Full report from @Paschketball shortly on https://t.co/81I5Zsi7OV pic.twitter.com/3MQ97DRGLl— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 9, 2017
It’s been one month since the news about Jabari Parker’s injury was announced, where it was declared that he had re-torn the same ACL he originally tore in his rookie season. Nearly a week later, Parker had a successful operation to repair the damage to his knee, and we haven’t heard any news since. Until today.
The Milwaukee Bucks held practice today, and Jabari made his first appearance with the team where members of the press were also present. Parker is generally a quiet person, and while he’s been vocal on social issues, we simply haven’t heard very much from him since his most recent injury.
Many of us speculated on what this meant for Parker, and for the team. Admitting that there were two separate parties that could have different outcomes was a huge step in and of itself; after coming back one time, Jabari and the Bucks were as tightly intertwined as anyone could expect. But now, his breakout season was cut short, his developmental timetable was again delayed, and his future outlook in Milwaukee was less clear. It was, in a word, unfair.
It’s easy for fans to get down on something, and it could be easy for players to get down as well. Jabari Parker, however, seems to be cut from a different cloth. He spoke at length about how he feels as if this challenge wouldn’t have been given to him if he wasn’t meant to face it.
Here are some of the initial quotes from the session and you can watch the full availability via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Facebook Live video. We’ll update the story with the full video from Bucks.com as soon as it’s available.
"I'm not going to be the same player. I know I can be better. My faith will keep me strong." -@JabariParker— Paul Henning (@brewcitypaul) March 9, 2017
"I know I can come back, thats how I'm built. I've been struggling my whole life. It's nothing new. Suki will be huge for me" -@JabariParker— Paul Henning (@brewcitypaul) March 9, 2017