The rookie forward has loved his experience in the competition so far.
Jabari Parker, FC Barcelona: ‘I love the EuroLeague!’
Jabari Parker is a player who is known right across the world, but the FC Barcelona forward has found himself right at home in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. A former No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the 28-year-old has already wowed fans in Europe’s premier club basketball competition with his performances on the court.
Some ex-NBA players who come to Europe arrive with the wrong attitude, but not Parker. His global outlook on the game of basketball meant that he was always going to be open to options abroad, and he’s hit the ground running since landing at Barcelona.
“Basketball is bigger than the NBA. Basketball is global,” says Parker in an exclusive feature with the EuroLeague.
“Ever since I was young, when I was watching the Olympics and seeing other teams like Spain and Argentina, I knew that no matter what part or stage of my career, I wanted to play at the best level, no matter where I was.”
His ‘love’ for the EuroLeague
Parker may be just 10 games into his EuroLeague career, but he has not looked out of place one bit. There were a lot of expectations on his shoulders upon his arrival at Palau Blaugrana, yet he’s so far taken everything in his stride.
“I love the EuroLeague,” states the Barcelona forward. “It’s very competitive, it’s guys who play basketball the right way and the environment [atmosphere], most importantly, stands out.
“I just want to do what I do best, but most importantly it’s all about winning. When we win, it takes care of all our problems and as long as I am a byproduct of our team’s success, then I’m happy.”
EuroLeague vs. NBA
The age-old comparison between the EuroLeague and the NBA is one that has been heard many a time, but for Parker, he is delighted with how things are going so far.
“I say the NBA and the EuroLeague is like night and day,” he notes. “It kind of reminds me of college playing here in Europe: every game is counted for.
“It can either build you or break you and it matters when you play in certain tournaments and for bragging rights. We not only have a rival in [Real] Madrid, but we have rivals everywhere we go and that’s how serious it is.”
Parker is only in his first year in the competition, but having averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds and helped Barca race out to an 8-2 record, he very much seems to have found his basketball home.