The Bulls lost to the Magic in Mexico City Thursday night, in a game that was mostly uneventful, apart from leading scorer and leadership council member Zach LaVine hearing an ominous pop in his lower leg on a late drive. Some interesting news came after the game, when ESPN reported that Jabari Parker will no longer be a part of Chicago’s rotation, moving forward.
Parker is mostly a lousy player. The change of scenery from Milwaukee to Chicago has not unlocked his potential in new and exciting ways. He’s still not especially efficient on offense, and he still stinks on defense. The Bulls have all of Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Robin Lopez, and Bobby Portis ahead of Parker at the four and five, and it turns out it was just never all that great an idea to give him minutes anywhere else. Parker hasn’t been especially bad in Chicago—their net rating is exactly the same with him on the floor and off the floor (minus-11)—but if Jim Boylen thinks the fit is too awkward, that’s fine. It probably is. Parker described the news as “a surprise,” a feeling I think it’s safe to say is shared by Bulls broadcaster Horace Grant, who learned of Parker’s demotion during a postgame segment:
My favorite part of this comes at the end, when poor Horace starts listing off old soap operas and then finishes with “I hope and pray that, uhh, that we get it together.” That is a man whose spirit has been broken, and with 53 games and four months still remaining on the regular season schedule. Hang in there, buddy.