Two years feels like a long time — for me, and for you guys, too, I’m sure. We didn’t win nearly as much as we should’ve or could’ve. I’ve dealt with injuries. Marc and Mike had injuries. But here’s something that was true two years ago that’s still true now: I want to be in Memphis. Two years ago, in July, I took a meeting with the Grizzlies and I walked out of it with my final decision made. I chose Memphis. And I chose it because it was the right fit for me. I liked the people, the culture. I liked the way the city had this feeling of ownership of its team. Plus, I had a great relationship with J.B. Bickerstaff from our time in Houston, and J.B. was headed to Memphis. Growing up in Florida, a lot of things about Memphis felt familiar, like it could be my home for a long time.
Many fans felt slighted while injured Chandler Parsons was out doing normal thing like going on vacation, eating out at restaurants or posting IG. The incorrect assumption is that a player should not have a life if they aren’t helping your team win.
I’m a basketball fan, so I know what it’s like, as a fan, to feel like you’re giving a lot to your team …and the players are not matching that. I wish I would’ve known that I needed to be more available, and more open, while I was injured — because nobody was getting to see my contributions on the basketball court. Instead, when you guys saw me on vacation or getting photographed by paparazzi going to dinner, or posting something on IG or whatever, maybe it looked like I didn’t really care about the team. When I look back at some of that now, and remember how I felt when I was a Magic fan all those years ago, I think I understand where you’re coming from.
So yeah, the injuries were bad luck. I got hurt, and I couldn’t play this sport I love. Being injured for multiple years in a row is just … it’s easy to fall into a dark place, and to become bitter, and to think that you’re never going to be able to get back to where you were before the injuries. The rehab process is a grind — that’s not some big thing to say, though. But how I responded to my injuries didn’t have anything to do with bad luck. That part was on me.
Chandler Parsons is going far out of his way to please seemingly unreasonable fans, but he is ready to perform at a high level.
I know the last thing you want to hear from me is a promise about my basketball performance — I know I need to show it on the court. I guess all I really wanted to say … is that I’m here. I’m here in Memphis. I still love it here. I’ve struggled here, too, which makes me want to prove myself here more than ever. I’m here to work, and I’ve got work to do. I’m not proud of how I dealt with my injuries publicly. On the bright side, I’m feeling stronger physically and mentally than I did two years ago. So I plan to do now the same thing I planned to do two years ago … come in fresh, as the new guy. With a lot to prove.
Hopefully the injuries are behind him and he can silence a lot of his critics this season.