The spectacular rise of Jabari Parker

Jabari Parker this is without a doubt man of the moment in European basketball. His great performances both in the Endesa League and, above all, in the Euroleague, as well as some spectacular games.made the Barça power forward the center of attention of almost everyonecomments and even rumors about the future, starting in 2024.

But it was not always so. WITH Barcelona announced his signing in early August last year.there were many who doubted the convenience of the operation.

A lot of doubts about your physical condition (he has a history of many injuries, including two torn cruciate ligaments in his knee), about his inaction (no official match played since January 2022) and even its adaptation to basketball and the European lifestyleIt was the first experience outside of the United States for the boy from the Chicago area, who had been trained entirely in American basketball (high school, NCAA and NBA).

The Evolution of Jabari Parker


And all this without forgetting that theoretically He came as a replacement for no more and no less than Nikola Mirotic., the flagship of the Barcelona team for the last three seasons. More pressure is impossible.

And yet, from the first moment, from inside the club who wanted to send a message of calm and patienceemphasizing that Jabari Parker would take time to adapt, but the trust in him was complete and utter.

But the first months were not at all promising. A The somewhat apathetic Parker didn’t quite fit into Roger Grimau’s schemes. He has just found himself on the bench at Barça, far more concerned with getting his team to perform and perform at their best from day one.

Numbers in hands The former NBA player’s performance after the first month of EuroLeague competition was disappointing, to say the least.s: 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds for an 8.6 average rating in just 17 minutes of play per game.

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The man, who became one of the team leadersit was nothing more than simple rotation player in the Barcelona team.

And until the end of 2023 the situation did not improve much. Despite some quality parts and great prominence in some games, Parker has not yet found the pattern necessary to establish himself as a key element. in this Barca.

He averaged in the EuroLeague in November (11.6 points, 25% on threes and 10.2 efficiency) and December (9.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 10.5 efficiency). There was nothing special about them either. and doubts as to whether he would finally achieve the performance everyone expected got the better of even the most optimistic.

But everything changed with the arrival of the new year. It was like it was a new player Jabari surprises even the most skeptical with several performances worthy of what is expected of him, the former No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft averaged 20 points and 6 rebounds in the best league in the world.

Starter in all 2024 games and on average about 30 minutes of playtheir numbers have grown exponentially in the premier continental competition worthy of a true star: 16.5 points, with 60% three-point accuracy! and 5.2 rebounds, which corresponds to an 18.5 average rating.

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But what’s special about this, besides the cold numbers?the new version of Parker is his attitude and his influence on the teamand many of his teammates already see him as a leader and a player who can pass the ball to in the “hot” moments of games, as happened last weekend on the Lenovo Tenerife court when won three victories with amazing composure (80-83) in the last second of the game.

Fully already integrated into the team and the city of Barcelona, ​​and just as rumors about his future become more widespread (Will he renew his contract with Barca or try his luck in the NBA again?), Grimau recently said that “although there were times when he didn’t quite understand some things, we knew that if he was happy, Parker would help.” there are many of us.” And it seems that, finally, Jabari is happy. And this is very good news for Barça. And for all basketball fans. Fasten your seat belts Flight JP22 has already departed.

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