Bulls trying to move forward; Jabari Parker remains stuck in the past
The former Simeon star continued to take shots at his hometown team, but Jim Boylen took the high road.
LAS VEGAS — Call Sunday a good opportunity for the Bulls to wrap up some unfinished business.
On one side, the team finally made the sign-and-trade for combo guard Tomas Satoransky official, signing the former 32nd overall pick from the Wizards to a three-year, $30 million contract.
The Bulls weren’t exactly expecting what came from the other side. Call it the blind side, courtesy of former Bull Jabari Parker.
In a recent interview with the Sun-Times, Parker, who signed a two-year, $40 million contract with the Bulls last summer before it all fell apart by December and he was eventually traded, was asked about being dealt from his hometown team to the Wizards.
“It was like being in jail for a couple of months, and then when you’re free, you just want to be yourself again and catch up on lost times,’’ Parker said. “I didn’t have to deal with inconsistencies. I didn’t have to deal with mind games. I had coaches there that were very mature — they were players’ coaches. That’s one thing I really loved about them.’’
Coach Jim Boylen was told of Parker’s comments and could have eviscerated him for his time with the team, but instead he took the high road.
“I’m thankful I had a chance to coach him, and that’s that,’’ Boylen told the Sun-Times. “It doesn’t hurt my feelings. Thankful he played for us, and I just wish him the best in the future. He can say whatever he wants to say.’’
As far as the “players’ coach’’ comment, Boylen was very matter-of-fact in what kind of coach he is.
“I’m an honest and a direct guy that’s trying to develop a young roster that plays good basketball,’’ Boylen said. “That’s what I am.’’
But give the former Simeon High School graduate some credit: It’s not easy to rewrite history like he continued to do.
Parker not only showed up for camp out of shape, but he backed up his promise not to worry about the defensive end of the game.
A source close to former Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told the Sun-Times in September that Hoiberg thought the Parker signing was the kind of move that would get him fired, and by Dec. 3, it did. Or at least it factored in.
Boylen wasted little time relegating Parker to the bench. Privately, the organization was also concerned that Parker was poisoning the water, especially relating to Zach LaVine, so he was moved by February in the trade for Otto Porter.
After the mopey forward was gone, the thought was his short time with the organization was in the rearview mirror. Parker, though, had other ideas. Considering he’s still an unsigned free agent, a glance in the mirror could do him some good.
As for the Bulls, they are looking forward rather than dwelling in the past, and that means more eyes on the young players in the Summer League, specifically the continued development of point guard Coby White.
In the 82-75 loss to the Cavs on Sunday, White continued to show flashes of working on his court vision and playmaking, but he also continued to struggle with his decision-making, evident by the seven turnovers to just five assists.
“Yeah, I’m still trying to become a better decision-maker on the court, and I’m trying to become a better point guard,’’ White said after the game. “It’s all about the learning curve … just learn from everything.’’