Remember happy Chandler Parsons? He was once a jolly bro who did cool stuff for fans, signed a Mavericks offer sheet in the club, and was boys with Mark Cuban. Parsons was goofy and fun, a lovable NBA doofus who was actually pretty good at basketball. But then that relationship with Cuban got hella twisted, and Parsons took off for Memphis, where he was supposed to provide the team with spacing and versatility at both forward positions. Instead, he’s been sad and injured, and his contract is one of the worst in the entire NBA.
Last night marked a new low. Fans loudly booed Parsons after he missed two free throws in the first quarter of the Grizzlies’ season-opening win over the Pelicans.
Parsons was pissed after the game, saying the boos were “tasteless” and would force him to treat home games like road games going forward. Parsons’s teammates stuck up for him and even encouraged the crowd to cheer after he hit a free throw later in the quarter. Booing your own player, especially one with delicate confidence, is a bad way to start the season and doesn’t help anything. None of this is exactly surprising, though.
Parsons is two years into a four-year, $94 million deal and has either been bad or injured for the entirety of his short time in Memphis. He scored just 6.2 points per game on 33 percent shooting last season before tearing his knee (again) and missing the playoffs. Fans are finally expressing their frustrations with Parsons, and why wouldn’t they be mad? $94 million is a lot to pay for a backup small-ball power forward with shattered confidence and creaky knees.
Even before his anonymous performance last night, there’s been reason to be concerned about Parsons. He spent the summer acting very strangely on Instagram, asking a model to “show ur tits” and airing out the DMs he was getting from horny fans. There’s a whiff of sadness about the whole thing.
It’s clear that the pressure is getting to Parsons, and if he’s going to become a productive NBA player again and help the Grizzlies this season, he’ll need to reclaim his health and his confidence. Booing him isn’t the way, but nothing about this is fun, for either side.