Yes, Jabari Parker is out again with the same ACL injury he got his rookie year. Seeing a young player be mangled by injuries is very tough to watch, especially when there’s a that much of a talent in one Jabari Parker.
Jabari Parker was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft behind fellow classmate and No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins. Interesting enough, these two players were pitted against each other in high school and college. It was Jabari vs Wiggins, Wiggins vs Jabari . Who would go number one? Who would be the better talent in college? Who was NBA ready, and would transition to the NBA and become the better player. At one point in time it looked as if Jabari was more ready for the NBA due to his more mature body, and ability to post up and hit the turn around jay. So, in essence he was touted as being able to compete with the likes of other Small Forwards where as Wiggins on the other hand was more on the skinnier side and needs to hit the weight room to add weight. Wiggins was super freaky athletic, and had such a good defensive game and length which is why it was a toss up.
It was until Jabari Parker’s rookie season when he tore his right ACL and was sidelined for his rookie campaign that the comparisons stopped. Andrew Wiggins progressed and is looking like a future All Star, and would probably be one if the West wasn’t so competitive as it is. Parker was also looking impressive himself, but its obvious that the ACL injury was slowing the progression down.
It saddens me that Parker is out again with another ACL injury on the same knee that he injured his rookie year. I hate seeing these kinds of things because it’s heart breaking to not only the player, but it’s a disservice to us, NBA lovers and NBA fans, but we can’t control what happens, it just happens. I sit thinking why the basketball gods take away such great talents from us and riddle them with injuries.
There are a handful of players that looked promising, but injuries said NO, you won’t be great!! Greg Oden, yeah he’s a case, but he was promising no doubt about it. Eric Gordon, clipper Eric Gordon was well on his way to being an All-Star until his knee injuries, tell me he wasn’t. Brandon Roy, when I tell you that boy was special. If i wasn’t watching Kobe and the Lakers, I was watching what Roy was going to do every night. Probably an All-Time favorite Derrick Rose.. Oh why god.. I really wish I could have seen what could have been. Rose by all means is still a decent player, but we all know what happened. Hey he’s looking nice this year so he could still make me eat crow.
Which brings me to the topic at hand which is Jabari Parker. Before the draft there were so many comparisons to the great Grant Hill. They both played at Duke, they have similar body types, and similar games. I thought to myself one day, Jabari Parker is so similar to Grant Hill, yes, but what if he’s exactly what Grant Hill was, injury prone. Grants chronic ankle injuries kept him from the potential Hall of Famer he could have been. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying Parker is a Hall of Famer but just hear me out.
Before the injury, Grant Hill was getting Co-Rookie of the year honors with Jason Kidd. He received the most All-Star votes as a rookie. Placing 3rd in MVP voting in 97′ season. Not to mention edging Jordan and Shaq in All-Star votes at some point. I need say no more because at that time we had your Airness making the impossible seem possible, and Shaq proving his dominance as one of the best big man ever to play the game. Hill would play at least 6 seasons collecting first and second all NBA teams until the ankle issue became issues for years to come.
Okay, but what does this have to do with Parker?
Think about it, an ACL injury is not something to mess around with. Coming back from one is a feat in itself, but now coming back from a second one on the same knee.. How does one even have the mental toughness to know that once i am back within a year, how do I know it won’t happen again? Parker had to have thought he was fine because he just started playing more confidently. He was seeing way more minutes,and averaging 6 more PPG at 20.1 PPG for the season as opposed to his 14.1 PPG from his return off his first ACL injury.
Obviously, Grant Hill was more established. The comparison’s to NBA careers at this point aren’t even close. Did they go to the same school? Yes, do they have similar games? Yes. Do they have similarities in an injury riddled career? At this point two ACL injuries on the same knee in a 2 and half year career isn’t looking so hot. I’m really hoping this second ACL injury doesn’t start breaking down other limbs and muscles in Jabari Parker. He’s still young at 21 years old he’s half a dozen years younger than Grant Hill was when he was seeing the ankles break down on him and becoming a long-term issue.
Grant Hill was still a good player, but he could have been GREAT. The injuries robbed him, and I’d rather not see the same thing happen to Jabari Parker. Right now Parker, started showing promise but whats the mindset looking like when he returns. What’s his game going to look like down the line because of these injuries. The body is a weird, once something isn’t functioning right it will try to over use other parts that aren’t suppose to be overused. Most recently Kobe Bryant. The mamba was doing perfectly fine and no decline in-game at his old age until the Achilles injury then everything started piling on one after another until he was a shell of himself. Keep your head up Jabari because I’m rooting for you!