Parsons Ready for Season After Big Summer
Chandler Parsons knows that his three-year, $46 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks turned some heads. After all, the former second-round pick made less than $1 million in each of his first three seasons with the Houston Rockets, but now the 25-year-old has one of the bigger deals in the NBA. Next season, he’ll make $14.7 million, which is more than All-Stars like Rajon Rondo, Joakim Noah, Tony Parker and Al Horford among others.
“Dallas showed interest right away and I thought in the back of my mind that Houston was going to match,” Parsons said in an interview with NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan. “They pretty much told me, ‘Go get the biggest deal and best deal for you and we’re matching.’ At the end of the day, it’s a business and I have no hard feelings against them. It’s sad to leave there, that was a great place and I have nothing but good memories in Houston. But I’m so excited to be here and start my career here.
“I think [the size of the contract] surprised a lot of people. It didn’t surprise me. I believe in myself. I’m going to continue to work and motivate and just be a leader and do whatever I can to help this team win games and compete for a championship. I’m obviously flattered and humbled by the contract, but now it’s time to go out there and win games.”
Parsons is confident that he can take the next step in his development in Dallas and lead the Mavericks. With the Rockets, he was often viewed as a role player, with James Harden and Dwight Howard serving as the team’s stars. Harden and Howard each made comments that seemed to confirm this perception of Parsons, suggesting that he’s replaceable because he was just a member of the supporting cast.
In Dallas, Parsons is looking forward to proving himself and elevating his game alongside a number of talented veterans such as Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and Monta Ellis among others.
“My job is to be aggressive,” Parsons said when asked about his role in Dallas. “I’m not going to take bad shots, I’m not going to force anything; I’m a leader and I’m going to play off those guys, I’m going to play with those guys. [I] have a guy like Monta on the other wing with me who can score the ball at any minute, Dirk speaks for himself and then Tyson is the perfect five-man to play with. You don’t have to force the ball into him, he’s not calling plays and he doesn’t want to go and get 20 points. He’s just cleaning up everything, finishing, alley-oops and just the ideal big man that guys like me would love to play with. My job is to make the game easier for those guys and to do whatever I can on any given night.
“[Dirk] is one of the best to ever play so I’m just going to be a sponge around him and absorb everything I can, and however much longer he plays, hopefully it’s a long time, we can start creating that chemistry now and hopefully have a nice two-man game. I think I’ll make him better and I think he’ll definitely make me better.”
When asked if he feels any extra pressure now because of his huge pay raise, Parsons didn’t flinch.
“Not at all,” Parsons said. “I was underpaid my first three years and that didn’t affect how I played. People are going to talk about my contract now just because it’s a huge raise, but it really doesn’t matter to me. I’m a basketball player and I’m going to continue to get better and do what I do regardless of how much money I’m making. That’s completely irrelevant.”
Parsons was one of the final players cut from Team USA prior to the FIBA World Cup in Spain. Parsons was disappointed not to make the team, but said that the experience was amazing.
“I definitely wanted to be in Spain right now,” Parsons said. “I wanted to play. … I think I got better going there and I got in shape. Just being able to play against those guys every single day, it’s not often that you get to learn and play and practice with those type of players every single day in the summertime. I took it as a positive and just tried to work on my game, stay in shape and just be ready. That was an unbelievable feeling just having that ‘USA’ on my chest for that short period of time.”
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who has been a vocal critic of NBA players suiting up for Team USA, told Parsons he didn’t want him on the team. Remember, this was shortly after Paul George’s injury and Cuban’s argument was that the benefits didn’t outweigh the risks for players.
“Yeah, he made that clear to me,” Parsons said of Cuban. “He did. He’s great … He obviously told me how he felt. He told the world how he felt about his guys playing for USA Basketball. But at the same time he understood it was something that I was really passionate about and it was something that I really wanted to do. So, I was planning on making the team and playing for the team. You take a risk of getting hurt anytime you step on the floor.”
Instead of going to Spain, Parsons went to Dallas earlier than expected and got the opportunity to train with some of his new teammates. Now, he believes being cut from Team USA may have actually been the best thing for him in the long run.
“I think it’s a blessing in disguise not making the USA team, giving me a chance to come here and be a leader and get to know the young guys and work with the coaches,” Parsons said. “I think that’s going to be a good thing for us going forward, that I was able to come here a month early and get my feet wet, so everything’s not brand new when training camp opens up.”
Nets Sign Jerome Jordan
The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent center Jerome Jordan, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.
Jordan spent last season with Virtus Bologna in the Italian League, after the 7’0 center split the 2012-13 season playing in the NBA Development League for the Reno Bighorns (24 games) and the Los Angeles D-Fenders (18 games). Jordan was named to the 2013 All-NBA D-League Third Team after averaging 12.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 42 games (36 starts).
During the 2011-12 season, Jordan played 21 games, along with one playoff game, for the New York Knicks, averaging 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.1 minutes of NBA play. Additionally, Jordan spent part of the 2011-12 season with the D-League’s Erie BayHawks, where he appeared in eight games. Selected out of Tulsa with the 44th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Jordan was traded to the Knicks on July 8, 2010, before pursuing his career abroad with KK Hemofarm in Serbia (2010-11) and BC Krka in Slovenia (2011).
George, Bird Apologize for Insensitive Tweets
Paul George is making headlines today and it’s not good news. This morning, George decided to send out several tweets in defense of NFL running back Ray Rice, who was cut from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended after knocking out his fiancé in an elevator.
The incident occurred in February, but has generated a lot of discussion lately since video of the punch surfaced and Rice’s football career is on hold indefinitely. Here are several of George’s tweets:
These remarks obviously upset a lot of people, prompting George and Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird to release statements.
“I want to apologize to all victims of domestic abuse for my insensitive tweets,” George said. “They were obviously without proper understanding of the seriousness of the situation and I sincerely regret my poor choice of words.”
“Paul George’s tweets from earlier were thoughtless and without regard to the subject of domestic violence and its seriousness in society,” Bird said. “We have talked to Paul to strongly express our displeasure and made it clear that the NBA and the Pacers’ organization will not condone or tolerate remarks of this nature. Paul understands that he was wrong and why his tweets were so inappropriate and is very apologetic.”
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