Chandler Parsons is clearly not a clone of LeBron James. There is only one LeBron in the NBA. However, new Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, a former Miami Heat assistant, says he plans to use Parsons like Miami utilized James during its run to four consecutive NBA Finals.
"When I said I want to play him like LeBron, I do," Fizdale said, according to ESPN. "I really do want to use him, because there's not many guys in the league at that size that have that skill set, and there's no reason why I should put a cap on his abilities because his name isn't LeBron James.”
Fans have gotten a good laugh out of this. Of course, you never want to put a cap on a player's abilities, but it's also essential to KYP: Know Your Personnel. Fizdale seems slightly off with his evaluation of Parsons.
"I just see the same skill set," Fizdale said. "He's not a high-flyer like LeBron obviously, but he can pass it, he can shoot the 3, he's huge, he can post guys, and he moves great without the basketball, so I can move him around in a lot of different spots.
"I do not want to put a ceiling on him. I want to see how far we can go with him and put him in a role that is positionless… I think all it takes is a coach showing that he has the confidence in a guy to do it and develop him according to the system and then it can take place."
There is a difference between saying you plan to float a player between various positions and saying you plan to use him like LeBron (who is 6'8", 250 pounds). While Fizdale is trying to instill Parsons (6'9", 230) with confidence, it's almost unfair to the 27-year-old forward to put those expectations on him.
Parsons averaged 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game with Dallas last year. He appeared in 61 games before tearing the meniscus in his right knee.
This offseason, coming off of surgery to that knee, Parsons signed a four-year, $94 million contract with the Grizzlies. He's looking to get his career back on track after a two-year stint with the Mavericks that didn't play out as well as expected.
And now, I will contact my editors and ask to be used like ESPN's Wright Thompson. I see a lot of similarities, like the fact that we're both sports writers.