By Willis Patenaude @willispatenaude on April 17, 2014
Jabari Parker announced his decision to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft after spending one season in college basketball. He is projected to be a Top-5 pick and many believe he made the correct choice to leave college early. Parker noted the financial opportunity provided by the NBA as a main motivating factor in the decision, but there are plenty of reasons he should have stayed at Duke and finished his college career. Here are five of them.
Help is coming in the form of national player of the year and good friend Jahlil Okafor and point guard Tyus Jones. Parker could have led the team deeper in next year’s tournament or even had the chance to cut down the nets in an effort to expunge his dismal performance against Mercer, with these two top 5 recruits providing the much needed assistance necessary to do so.
It’s no secret that the NBA game has become watered down because of one-and-done players and Parker would be no different. He showed signs of inconsistency throughout the season, at one point only scoring 144 points over a ten game span shooting a woeful 35.3 percent from the field and went 4-14 against Mercer in the NCAA Tournament who is not exactly loaded with NBA-ready talent.
According to the Chicago Tribune, as a guest speaker at St. Sabina Academy’s eighth-grade commencement ceremony when he was a junior in high school, Parker said, “Basketball is going to be short…If you lean on your books and your education, it will take you so much farther than basketball.” Instead, Parker chose shoes and fashion fads he couldn’t afford growing up. What a solid role model.
Coach K is a legend in college sports and Duke could provide stability for the 19 year old Parker instead of the alternative of going to a below average NBA team in shambles with an unstable coaching staff. Coach K has coached the NBA’s biggest stars to Olympic gold, so there is no reason he wouldn’t be able to make Parker a more complete player. Honestly, who cares if you’re in the NBA if your team is a train wreck?
Some people will argue returning could hurt his draft stock, but if he has to worry about his draft stock dropping then he was never good enough to be a Top-5 pick in the first place. Second, the injury argument is poppycock because catastrophic, career-ending injuries do not happen as often as people want you to believe and besides, they make insurance policies for that now.
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