Freshman Jabari Parker is set to announce his future intentions at some point before the NBA early entry deadline of April 27th. Even though there is a deadline for underclassmen to announce no one seems satisfied with this, and no one (mostly media-types) seem content with letting the young man make a decision when he is ready to do so. I’ve seen articles and tweets from so-called experts who insist that Jabari would be dumb to stay and that playing for Coach K for a sophomore season would be wildly insane and detrimental to his success. Are you kidding me? I don’t often cuss in articles I write but what complete bull-shit. Where along the way did being a kid or a college student become an idiotic decision? I’m not turning a blind eye to the trappings of money. I’m well aware of the amount or revenue the young man stands to make, and should Jabari Parker choose to declare for the NBA draft I wish him well – he’s represented Duke University, his parents and his community well. He’s a good student and has done things the right way. Those supposedly in the “know”, draft experts and people obsessed with projecting draft status and how much money the young Parker stands to lose would have you think that college isn’t important, that being a kid for as long as you can isn’t a feasible option. They would have you completely devalue not only education but the college experience not to mention the tutelage of a hall of fame coach.
The only definitive statements from Jabari and his family as late as yesterday have the freshmen still on the fence as to whether to take his talents to the league or spend another year to develop. NBA scouts and supposed sources are saying he is most likely staying. The misinformation and speculation passed off as fact and legitimate from supposed people in the know is maddening and clearly done with the intention of forcing the hand of he and his family. It’s all a bit sickening to me. I understand fans wondering, hoping and even urging the freshmen to stay, fans of college basketball and fans of Duke Basketball want to see him return. There is nothing at all wrong with that. What angers me is the amount of “draft people” who claim because they have a twitter account or website with the word “draft” in the title that they know what is best for a kid they probably have never met, probably watched play 3 to 4 times and have never been in a similar situation as. They will most certainly tell you what is best for the youngster they will preach to anyone who will listen that he should get out while the getting is good, and if Jabari decides that is best then so be it. But maybe, just maybe he has a motivation that is different from most, I don’t claim to know but to think everyone is motivated by greed is ludicrous. His goal in live may very well be to be the number one pick in the draft and be a one and done player – I find no fault in that whatsoever. What if his goal is to reach the next level with an arsenal of skills that include more than just being a scorer, what if he wants to soak as much information, preparation and knowledge as he can from college and coaching. Just because we are a greed obsessed society doesn’t mean that every individual in this society is driven by it. Everyone has a different story, everyone has their own motivation.
I’m a fan of Jabari whether he is a current or former Duke player, but I say to those who are trying to force his hand or tell him what’s best for him when you have no frame of reference for his situation – Shut the hell up and report when there is something worth reporting, keep the rumor mongering and fake sources to yourself all you are doing is making yourself look silly, unprofessional and just ignorant. I don’t claim to know anymore than anyone else about Jabari Parker, his motivations or where he is leaning but I’d like those who claim to know but clearly don’t to just wait with the rest of us, there are plenty of other stories to write.