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Jabari Parker says he’s ‘trying not to be that second pick bust’

Aug 16, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT


CHICAGO — Jabari Parker was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the second overall pick in this year’s draft, but instead of feeling some sense of entitlement given his level of talent and lofty position on the draft board, he’s well aware of how players who were similarly picked at two have fared over the years.

“There’s been a lot of second pick busts,” Parker said Saturday morning, at the grand opening of the redesigned Jordan space inside Nike Chicago. “I’m just trying not to be that bust. Everyday that I step on the court, I just remind myself that I have a long ways to go. If I want to be one of those guys in the first tier of the NBA, like a LeBron, like a Kobe, like a [Blake Griffin], then I have to have that mentality starting off from the ground, and work my way up.”

Parker knows his history.

There is an unusually high amount of players who could rightfully be labeled as being busts that were taken second overall. The list is long, and includes names like Darko Milicic, Michael Beasley, and perhaps most famously Sam Bowie, who the Blazers took second in the 1984 draft, with Michael Jordan’s name still on the board.

In recent years, the players picked second don’t appear like they’ll amount to much, either, though there is still time. Victor Oladipo, last year’s number two pick, seems just fine. But Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Derrick Williams, Evan Turner and Hasheem Thabeet all appear to be miles away from living up to that level of expectation.

Parker is entering the league with a rebuilding Bucks team, and playing his whole life at winning programs like Duke University and Simeon Career Academy high school, he hasn’t experienced much losing. He seems prepared to handle whatever his first season may bring, however, and said his brief professional experience at Summer League in Las Vegas has helped prepare him to meet that challenge.

“I definitely learned that winning isn’t guaranteed, especially in the Summer League,” Parker said. “So I just have to have that gratitude, and just be grateful for every win that I get. If I have that attitude, then we’ll bring some good things to Milwaukee, and hopefully bring those out into the playoffs if we get the chance.”

  1. sportsfan18 - Aug 16, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    Michael Beasley, BUST as the #2 pick in the 2008 draft.

  2. dacapt704 - Aug 16, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Durant seems to do okay as a #2 pick but yeah…LOTS of busts at that spot. JP will be a player, he may max out at 18 ppg thats still nothing to sneeze at

  3. timberwolvesbrisin - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Forgot to mention Derrick Williams. I think Parker shouldnt worry too much, his bust potential is low.

    • floyd4285 - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      Parker should focus on hard work and building his character

  4. siege102 - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Jabari is the next Durant… a number 2 that should have been number 1

    Go ahead and down vote me

    • chicitybulls - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      Totally agree with you.

    • trevor123698 - Aug 16, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Hes a bum. HEs gonna be fat. He pretty much already is fat.

      • muhangis - Aug 16, 2014 at 7:24 PM

        Trevor, what is your IQ score? Seriously, it can’t be higher than 70 man. Did you take the SAT’s, or did you drop out too soon. I bet if you did, you couldn’t have scored more than a 600. [Out of the 1600 scale]

      • trevor123698 - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:39 PM

        you listen to music made by people like kendrick lamar and big sean. you dont deserve to speak on intelligence. It is a guarantee that I am smarter than you. For one thing you dont even know that the IQ test doesnt work for a good number of people. It cant measure the intelligence of certain types of minds. Secondly its geared for whites to do good on. There is a few other problems but you can research them yourself.

        IF you’d like to view my intelligence level here is my youtube videos uploaded and favorites. You dont have a clue what I know in this world. it makes you look like something I dont have a word for.

        my uploads to youtube

        the truth in the form of my favorites

  5. 2016olympics - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Darko Milicic was the ultimate #2 bust….ahead of Melo, Bosh, & Wade.

  6. mungman69 - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Derrick Williams WAS mentioned in the story which is already too much mention.

  7. mungman69 - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Derrick Williams WAS mentioned in the story which is already too much mention.

  8. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 16, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    It’s no coincidence. #2 = pooh.

  9. cbking05 - Aug 16, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    He also said he doesn’t want to be that two pump chump…

  10. muhangis - Aug 16, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    [#2 overall busts] Your forgot to add Jay Williams, Marvin Williams, Stromile Swift, Armon Gilliam, and Shawn Bradley to that list.

    I believe it is too soon to add Michael Beasley as an all-time bust… he’s still young and too skilled & talented (actually take a second to watch him play!) Many people labeling him a bust, have never watched him play. But if this guy gets the right opportunity (playing time) under the right system, well watch out! I’m not giving up on him yet.

    Oladipo is already 22, had ok numbers his season (on a bad team), but honestly my guess is that the Magic expected more out of him! It’s that he will not catch any negative media rap cause it’s overlooked – for hardly any rookies stepped up to the plate last year (except for perhaps MWC, Plumlee, and Trey Burke).

  11. hurley711 - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Does Detroit win the title in 04 with Melo?

    • muhangis - Aug 17, 2014 at 1:55 AM

      Probably more than just ’04..

  12. hurley711 - Aug 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Really? Larry Brown coached that team and is notoriously hard on young guys. He clashed with LBJ on an Olympic team. You think he and a young Melo on a veteran squad would have been peaches and cream?

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