Parker wonders where it went wrong with him and Boylen

 
 
Updated 2/9/2019 10:01 PM
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  • Washington Wizards forward Jabari Parker smiles as he stretches before an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Chicago.

    Washington Wizards forward Jabari Parker smiles as he stretches before an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Chicago.

  • Washington Wizards forward Jabari Parker (12) battles for a rebound against Chicago Bulls forward/center Cristiano Felicio during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Chicago.

    Washington Wizards forward Jabari Parker (12) battles for a rebound against Chicago Bulls forward/center Cristiano Felicio during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Chicago.

Jabari Parker gave another version of what went wrong in Chicago, before Saturday's game against the Bulls at the United Center.

As always, Parker was calm, polite and tossed in a few well-chosen words along the way.

After being traded to Washington on Wednesday, the former Simeon star jumped right into the rotation. He played 23 minutes on Friday against Cleveland and checked in at the 4:39 mark of the first quarter against the Bulls. Does he think he'll get better opportunities to play in Washington?

"I just feel like I'm with a great group of guys," Parker said in the visitors locker room. "It's too early to tell right now. It's up to me to get better."

Parker made his presence felt during the first half. He showed the Bulls maybe what they thought they were getting when he drove through traffic for a two-hand slam, then dunked over Lauri Markkanen on consecutive possessions.

He signed with the Bulls as a free agent in July, essentially with a one-year, $20 million contract. It never worked. Parker was removed from the starting lineup after two preseason games and was sent to the bench after Jim Boylen took over as head coach.

Parker was asked about his relationship with Boylen, which began when Boylen was still an assistant to Fred Hoiberg.

"It was a total 180, definitely," Parker said. "At that point, we never had controversy. I always had his back, you know, with things that we had in-house problems with. Always had his back, always had everybody's back.

"Just to see that relationship go sour, not from my end but from his end, was just bad. Because you trust the guy. I understand it's his decisions and whatever, but it was just hard, because of the relationship that we had going into it when he was a head coach."

Asked what advice he would give to the next free agent the Bulls pursue, Parker took a less direct path.

"That would be a direct conversation between me and him, simple and plain," he said. "I don't like to add my experience to anybody else and I'd just be upfront. I'm not bitter, but I'd be honest."

Parker was then asked why he's not bitter about the unsuccessful homecoming.

"Because I handled everything I could with the situation I had," he said. "I made the best of it and more importantly the man upstairs knows my heart and that's what I care about the most."

Parker has given the line about how he did his part or he did all he could several times. Video evidence might suggest differently and his performance during the first half against the Bulls might qualify as his best effort of the season.

When given the chance, though, Parker said he wouldn't change a thing about his short career with the Bulls.

"It was great. I love my experience here just because I met some great people," he said. "I love my teammates, got a chance to get a great group of relationships with my teammates. And I really mean that. I love those guys."

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