THIS JABARI Parker story begins where so many other Jabari Parker stories have started over the past five years—at a training facility. We’re at Atlanta’s Emory Sports Medicine Complex, a state-of-theart building that includes the Hawks’ practice facilities.
Local sports media members are huddled in a room, patiently waiting on practice to end so they can ask their questions of the day. After some time, an ESPN alert pops up on the phone: “Jabari Parker out at least 2 weeks. Hawks forward underwent a nonsurgical procedure on his right shoulder Tuesday.”
The timing couldn’t have been worse—and no, we’re not talking about the fact that we’re on an editorial deadline. No, your heart aches from the news because of Parker’s injury-filled past and the fact that he’s had such a solid season up to this point.
While the shoulder situation doesn’t sound terribly alarming, you hate to hear about anything disrupting a rhythm for a player looking for consistency.
Besides Trae Young’s 40-point outbursts, the Hawks haven’t had a lot to celebrate this year. Parker’s redemptive season was one of the highlights.
Signed in the offseason, Parker’s role intensified when John Collins was suspended 25 games in early November. Somebody had to pick up the offensive slack and Parker happily obliged.
During that stretch, he averaged 13.9 points and 5.9 boards per game. He had brilliant nights of 27 points in Portland and 33 on the road in Milwaukee.
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March - April 2020