Jabari Parker puts blame on Jim Boylen for their relationship turning ‘sour’
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Wizards forward Jabari Parker said he has no ill feelings toward the Bulls.
“I handled everything I could with the situation I had,” said Parker, who totaled 20 points, six assists and five rebounds in the Wizards’ 134-125 victory Saturday at the United Center. “I made the best of it.”
Returning just three days after the Bulls traded him and Bobby Portis to the Wizards for Otto Porter, Parker blamed coach Jim Boylen for the way things ended with the Bulls.
Believe it or not, Parker said he had a good relationship with Boylen at the start of the season. But that all changed in December after Boylen took over for Fred Hoiberg.
“It was a total 180,” Parker said. “[Before that,] we never had controversy. I always had his back, you know, with things that we had in-house problems with.”
The Bulls knew what they were getting with Parker when they signed him to a two-year, $40 million contract this offseason. And if they didn’t, he made it very clear early on that he wasn’t going to play defense.
But that’s not Boylen’s style. Unhappy with his lack of effort, Boylen benched Parker for 12 of 13 games from Dec. 12 to Jan. 11.
As time went on, the disconnect between the two grew, and Parker all but checked out. It eventually became evident that a trade was imminent.
“Just to see that relationship go sour — not from my end but from his end — was just bad,” Parker said. “Because you trust the guy, he says all the things. I understand it’s his decision and whatever, but it was just hard.”
Parker said there wasn’t anything he could have done differently.
“I did the best that I could,” he said. “I pretty much showed it within my play. It didn’t pan out.”
Parker, who averaged 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 39 games, doesn’t regret coming to the Bulls. But asked what he would tell free agents interested in the Bulls, he said, “I’m not bitter, but I’d be honest.
“That would be a direct conversation between me and him, simple and plain. I don’t like to add my experience to anybody else, and I’d just be upfront.”
Parker believes he’ll have a better opportunity with the Wizards. He said he was underused by the Bulls.
“I’m happy,” Parker said. “I haven’t smiled in a while, but it’s great.”
Difference of opinion
Porter has been doing his best to steer clear of controversy for the last 48 hours, but he could hide only for so long.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks was talking about Porter’s tenure with the team, and when the topic of shot selection arose, Brooks said that Porter was too passive.
“I finally did [get him to shoot more], but I’m not going to tell anybody how,’’ Brooks said. “That’s Jim’s issue. But he’s definitely going to have to tell him he needs more shots out of him. Otto is very comfortable. And that’s what you have to get out of him. You need more shots. It is a balance. I’ve always said when you have a great shot, don’t pass it to a guy who doesn’t shoot as well as you.’’
Porter didn’t see it that way.
When asked if he was a reluctant shooter, Porter said, ‘‘No. I feel like I’m a total basketball player. I do the little things well, and for me it’s just about playing to my potential.’’