What had seemed to be a promising season for the third-year player out of duke had quickly dissolved due to what is known as the prolonged eighty-two game season of the NBA.
After averaging career highs with twenty points, and six rebounds, Jabari Parker’s season has been cut short for the third consecutive season. He had seemed to be a cornerstone of their franchise, a franchise hoping to secure a spot in this year’s playoffs.
On February eighth, 2017, Parker had driven to the net on a layup attempt against the Heat, he planted his left foot on the ground and fell as if it was a foul. It was not.
However, it was noticeable that Parker had attempted to stand up after the fall, but was unable to. Parker had stayed down, even with his closest teammates and coaches making an effort to help him up. The way in which his left knee had collapsed and the furious emotion covering his face had made it evident that this was no negligible injury. He would be sidelined for twelve months, ultimately missing the remainder of this season and the beginning of the next.
Parker had attained the same injury to the same knee in December 2014, knocking him out of his rookie season after twenty-five games. This year, Parker was showing no signs of his knee troubling him, but for the second time in three years, he will be sidelined for an extended period of time. For a twenty-one-year-old, two injuries in three seasons can be quite frustrating.
The Bucks had already been struggling with Jabari Parker in the lineup with a 25-30 record, ranking them ninth in the Eastern Conference.
Luckily for the Bucks, Khris Middleton had returned the same game in hopes to help Milwaukee make a playoff push. Yet this injury is another knock to an up and coming franchise hoping to make an impact in the coming years. Parker, Antetokounmpo, and Middleton were supposed to be the young core that lead the Bucks to their new downtown arena in 2018.
Yet, this isn’t fair for Parker. He has battled to become a talented forward in the coming years, and for his hopes to be cut short for the second time just do not seem fair. Nevertheless, the NBA is not fair. Players are plagued with injuries. Players such as Derrick Rose, Michael Redd, Baron Davis, and so many more have first hand experienced the effect that an ACL tear has and the impact it has on one’s career, the memories that flash every time you attack the bucket after you make it back on the court; it truly is endless. It appears unfair that these injuries happen to good players, to players that amuse the crowd with their vicious dunks or last second three pointers. It seems unjust that these struggles test the player and his faith in himself; it truly is a mental fight, a fight with oneself, conceivably the toughest battle a player has ever had to go through. Jabari Parker is now going into this battle with some experience, with the patience required to get back on the court, the understanding that it is a long process, but ultimately the right mindset.
Although this injury has noticeably taken a foreseeable toll on the franchise, the Bucks are 3-1 since February eighth putting them at ninth in the East. In 2014, the Parker-less Bucks had also surprisingly made the playoffs with a .500 record. Should NBA fans be concerned that the Bucks are still winning without their supposed franchise player alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo? Of course, not. We are simply observing a team that has a little more fight within them than most others.Although the Bucks are without their soon-to-be all-star Power Forward on the court, they still have time to be the NBA’s powerhouse in the near future.