Chandler Parsons has experienced life in the NBA mainly as an underdog. The Houston Rockets forward was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Despite being taken so late, Parsons has evolved into an all-around player and is primed to take the next step along with the Houston Rockets. We spoke with Parsons about everything from his role in Dwight Howard signing with the Rockets to his first playoff experience last year.
Interview by Rafael Canton (@RafelitoC7)
How has your summer been?
Summer’s been great. Did a lot of traveling this summer and worked really worked hard. I hired Rob McClanaghan, who trained Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, and John Wall. I worked out with him for pretty much a month and a half to work on all aspects of my game. I hired a strength coach Curtis Schultz from USC. Got invited to USA basketball select team in Vegas. I did that for a week. I went to Taiwan for camp with Jeremy Lin and just got back last week. I went to Gainesville, Fla. and worked out with some of the guys that are coming up. Other players that are around the team this year and I worked out with coach [Billy] Donovan.
So I’ve really been working hard and doing all these events with Relativity. I went to the Billboard awards, ESPY’s, different movie premieres, and this is my first fashion week too so I’m really excited about this week. Obviously with adding Dwight, that was a hectic time. Just looking forward to getting started and getting back to Houston and for the season to start.
There was a video of you doing some dribbling, passing, and shooting drills. How much work have you put in on skills like your ball-handling, your shooting, etc.?
I’ve put in a ton. I’m kind of known for my work ethic but this summer I kind of took it up a notch and really wanna make a jump after having a solid rookie year. I had a really good year last year, and now adding Dwight and having James [Harden], I don’t think there’s a better trio than us in the NBA. I want to make sure that I'm that third piece that can help us be that contending team. I worked on a lot of ball-handling especially now with him and Omer [Asik], there’s a lot of pick-and-rolls which is huge on offense. I want to be able to handle the ball at 6’9”, 6’10”, get the defensive rebound, be able to push the fast break and I’m going to get a lot of open shots playing with those two guys. They’re going to get double-teamed all the time, so I’m definitely working on my jump shot and being more of a consistent three-point shooter.
I don’t think there’s a better trio than us in the NBA. I want to make sure that I'm that third piece that can help us be that contending team.
How would you define your style?
I would say my style is very different. I don’t think I’m like most of the guys in the NBA. I’m kind of a beach bum from Florida and I have a very different style. I like tight-fitting, Euro-fitting clothes, colored pants. I like wearing loafers without socks. I mix it up a lot. Custom designer suits. The Del Toro kicks that I have on are from Miami. Skinny sweats with crazy socks showing or no socks at all. I love watches. I have a Hublot, a Breitling, and a Cartier. Different accessories that I match together just to be comfortable and casual. I feel like I’m a confident dude so I feel like I can get away with wearing something bold.
One game this year when I was hurt I wore a blazer with a polka dot undershirt, with like cropped pants that were rolled up with no socks with ostrich leather skin Del Toros. People were going nuts about it. You just have to have very high confidence and thick skin to be able to wear that and feel good in it. I have no problem with trying new things like that. I’m very lighthearted, outgoing, friendly, and funny, so I like to try new things.
You see a lot of players these days like Russell Westbrook wearing different clothing in the playoffs and getting made fun of by the TNT crew and the media.
Yeah, but I think that’s cool. He’s a trendsetter. He’s different. There’s no reason to be a follower and do things that have been done before. I give him a lot of credit and respect for doing that, but I don’t think I can pull off half of the stuff he wears.
What do you listen to while getting yourself pumped up for a game?
Drake’s “Started from the Bottom.” I feel like everyone can relate to that. Especially, with my family growing up, I was always kind of second fiddle to the guys I grew up with. I played with a really good kid, Nick Calathes, in high school and college. He was kind of always like the star and always got all the attention. I was always doubted and no one ever thought that I was going to go Division I. I got offered a scholarship to Florida and no one ever thought that I was going to be any good. Then I started my sophomore year, then I was All-American All-SEC First Team. So I felt like that I can relate to “Started from the Bottom.” That’s what I’ll listen to before going out.