Chandler Parsons is officially a Dallas Maverick. Now that he is the highest paid player on the roster, is he ready to prove it on and off the court?
Proving it on the court has been Parsons’ task since he left Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Florida. While there he and Nick Calathes won the Florida Class 5A title in 2007. He spent four years at the University of Florida under head coach Billy Donovan. He stayed because to get more playing time since other young talent was leaving for the NBA early. By his senior year, he was an integral part of the Donovan’s offensive scheme, leading the Gators to the Elite 8 until losing to Butler. That year Parsons was named SEC Player of the Year.
Although he was drafted early in the second round (38th overall) by the Houston Rockets, many felt he should have gone higher. Due to the NBA lockout he signed a short contract with the French team Cholet Basket playing three games before the NBA season finally started. In that short 2011-12 season he made the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
Over the next two seasons, Parsons became another important piece to the offensive scheme just like in college. His 16-point average pushed the Rockets to back-to-back playoff appearances. Last season he set an NBA record after hitting 10 three-pointers in the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies. His flashes of offensive greatness have been overshadowed at times by his lack of defense and off-court “playboy lifestyle” image. He has plans to get married to his longtime girlfriend soon, but that has not stopped him from maintaining a flamboyant nightlife. Nobody is saying that Dallas is South Beach, but like Houston our club scene can be just as addictive. He has dabbled into modeling some with a campaign for Buffalo Jeans playing into his attractive image. A female Rockets fan rear-ended him on the way to play the San Antonio Spurs at home just to get his autograph.
There is nothing wrong with being an attractive athlete that likes to party, but when you make $15 million per year does the money intensify the negative?
He proved this past season his fire comes from being discounted as a pure basketball player. Parsons let his frustrations be heard after finding out that he did not make the USA team roster last year.
“I’m not surprised. I’ve been overshadowed, overlooked my whole life. I was very frustrated. A life dream of mine is to play on that team. I deserve to be on that team…I was upset. I’m still upset. I think it’s a joke I’m not there.”
Reportedly, Parsons will indeed be added to the USA team roster in time for FIBA World Cup in Spain. The Dallas Mavericks went in hard to grab him away from the Houston Rockets with such a large offer. Mark Cuban himself tracked Parsons down in a nightclub to get an offer sheet signed. Even when Houston asked Cuban to re-send the offer for a mutual sign-and-trade, the Mavs refused keeping the $46 million deal intact. They saw a young versatile player that has been missing from their offense for some time now. Vince Carter last season turned back the hands of time, but the team knew they had to get younger at small forward. Jae Crowder’s slow development helped push things along also. They are hoping the addition of Tyson Chandler will hide his defensive deficiencies. Houston had the same hope when they added Dwight Howard, but the flaw was thinking Howard could compensate for everyone else too.
Chandler has yet to play a full 82 game season since becoming a pro. His Rockets’ teams over the last two years have never made it past the first round despite their offensive power. The Mavericks are hoping a change in scenery will fix that. There is a spot for his talents in Rick Carlisle’s system along with Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki to share baskets.
Now that Parsons is out of the background of Dwight Howard, Jeremy Lin, and James Harden he will have to keep a “prove it” attitude in Dallas. Now he will be the one in bright lights, billboards, and programs as the future of the Dallas Mavericks. Is he ready to be elite?