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Jabari Parker sets record straight on viral crying video

Jabari Parker was once thought to be a soon-to-be superstar in the NBA. The second overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, there were high hopes and expectations after Parker’s lone season at Duke. Things did not work out the way he or anyone had hoped, though, as injuries limited his potential and eventually forced him out of the NBA.

More than a year after being waived by the Boston Celtics and playing his last NBA game, Parker signed with FC Barcelona in seemingly a last-ditch effort to remain in basketball. Parker not only stayed in basketball but thrived in his first season with Barcelona this year, averaging 10.6 points and 4.2 rebounds as a valuable rotation player for Barca. So when he was asked after the team’s season-ending loss about the experience of his first year overseas, Parker broke down into tears.

Some theorized that Parker was disappointed with himself or sad that he was no longer in the NBA, but Parker says that he was crying tears of joy.

“Basically, it was all happy, happiness,” Parker said. “It was gratitude for this organization for giving me an opportunity, for my teammates for making me happy about this experience. I have nothing but great things to say about the Barcelona experience that I’ve had, especially being on the team of FC Barcelona. It’s been nothing but a dream of mine. And because of this place, I’ve found my love for the game again. And I wasn’t sure if I’d play basketball again, but because of FC Barcelona, the fans, my teammates, my coaches, my friends here, I’ve found that love again and I’m passionate. ”

Jabari Parker: From the NBA to overseas

Along with Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker arrived in the NBA in 2014. The trio were the top three picks in that year’s NBA Draft, and while it may not seem like it now, there was a real decision that had to be made by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who held the No. 1 overall pick.

While the Cavaliers went with Wiggins, the Milwaukee Bucks did not leave Parker on the board any longer and took him with the second overall pick. Thought to be another Chicago phenom — Parker starred at the same high school as Derrick Rose — Parker was dealt the first major injury of his NBA career when he tore his left ACL just two months into his rookie season.

A little over two years later, amid a season in which he was averaging 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists, Parker tore the same ACL again. He returned a year later from injury but did not receive nearly the same playing time or factor into the team’s offense nearly as much as a result of the rise of Giannis Antetokounmpo. In the subsequent offseason, Parker left Milwaukee and signed with his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls.

Parker’s hometown reunion would not last long, as just months into the 2018-19 season, Chicago traded Parker to the Washington Wizards. After just 25 games with Washington, Parker signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks, who similarly traded Parker to the Sacramento Kings at the trade deadline. After a year with the Kings, Parker was waived and eventually signed with the Boston Celtics, who also waived Parker twice in 2021 and 2022.

In Parker’s first season with Barcelona, the team failed to win any hardware for the first time in four years.

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