This wasn't supposed to happen. In the fairytale, the Prodigal Son makes good when he returns home. But most Bulls fans could imagine this scenario, even if Jabari Parker couldn't. On Thursday night in Mexico City, Parker only played four and a half minutes in Chicago's 97-91 loss to the Orlando Magic. While coach Jim Boylen said it was based off the match-ups, sources tell ESPN that Parker is now out of Chicago's regular rotation.
"Well, I think it's a matchup thing," Boylen said. "It's also hard to play three 4s. It's difficult to do that. You know, this team is not about one person, one matchup. It's about the team, and you play your minutes when you're in there, and when you're not, you support the guys who are. We have a lot of games left, and we're going to need all of our people."
Parker's parents are longtime South Side residents, and he became the first freshman in Simeon Career Academy history. Simeon is an illustrious high school in the Chatham section of the South Side. Then, the former Dukie was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft by the Bucks, a drive from where he grew up. After two major injuries to begin his career in Milwaukee, Parker—largely on the promise of what he showed in high school and college—signed a two-year, $40 million contract with the Bulls this past summer. Lucky for Chicago, as if you can call this team lucky, that second year is a team option.
Despite surprise at the move, Parker's handled his demotion with something approaching alacrity while thinking it's far from permanent. "It is a surprise because I did everything I could in the time I was given," he said. "But it is what it is. You can't pout. You just got to keep moving."
It's not like the Boylen's squad expects to go on a winning streak with Jabari stewing on the sidelines. Remember, they're less than a week from mutiny. Boylen probably thinks now Parker has more time to run suicides.