Jabari Parker has returned to the court after recovering from his second torn ACL just over a year ago. He’s missed 145 games in less than four seasons due to injury, and he’s humble yet guarded as he makes his latest comeback, according to a recent Bleacher Report article.
“I’ve been through a lot and right now I’m pretty grateful for having the opportunity to better myself,” the 22-year-old power forward said in the article.
Parker, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2014 NBA draft as the second overall pick. He has averaged 8.8 points in 17.8 minutes in the five games he’s played in since returning this month and even dunked on two players during the Bucks' 97-92 win against the Hawks on Tuesday.
Parker said he’s understanding the difference between deserved and earned in his current role coming off the bench and doing what the team needs him to do. "Saying I worked so hard I earned this makes more sense than saying I deserve it,” he told Bleacher Report.
"I've learned so much in the span of four years, it's amazing,” Parker said. “I used to look far out at stuff — at the future — at stuff that wasn't in my control. Now I'm all about focusing on the present moments."
Despite his comeback, Bleacher Report pointed out Parker’s inhibitions in being “that former outspoken version of himself.” Parker said he’s wary of reporters who have manipulated his quotes, so he "suddenly felt the need to build a wall between himself and the public."
“Because no matter what you give strangers, they're never going to understand you. It's just, like, not putting yourself out there too much for people who don't even care about you."
Bleacher Report’s entire story can be found here.