Reports that Jabari Parker has gained weight and tanked his workout with the Cavaliers on Friday are not true, according to his father.
Jabari Parker's father: Reports about tanking workout 'made up'
Duke's freshman forward Jabari Parker sits down with Sports Illustrated's Jeff Benedict to make his decision whether to stay in school or declare for the NBA draft.
Sonny Parker called the persistent reports of Jabari’s weight gain “made up” and scoffed at an ESPN report that claimed Jabari purposely didn’t put his best foot forward for the Cavaliers because he hopes to play for the Bucks instead.
“He would never do that,” Sonny Parker, an NBA first-round draft pick himself in 1976, said. “His character is different. He plays the same way regardless. He is very thankful to be in this situation.
"I’m sure he likes certain teams over other teams, but whoever picks him, that’s where he’s going to go. When you’re picking a school, you can do that. Now he can’t control it. He has too much character and respect and love for the game to tank so they won’t pick him. That is not him.”
The Cavaliers have the No. 1 pick in Thursday night’s draft, followed by the Bucks. Parker, a 6-foot-8 forward out of Duke and Simeon, hasn’t worked out for any other team.
Cleveland presumably has been deciding between Parker and Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins since learning Kansas center Joel Embiid has a right foot injury that required surgery.
The ESPN report, which cited unnamed sources, also said Parker looked overweight.
There were similar anonymously sourced reports about Parker gaining weight last month, but he seemed to put those to rest during a workout for NBA scouts that can be seen on YouTube.
“I don’t know where they get this information from,” Sonny Parker said. “Did you see his body on the video? He is not overweight. He takes care of his body. He has always been a big kid. He is broad. But the only time he wasn’t in shape was when he got hurt.”
Parker suffered a foot injury while playing for USA Basketball before his senior year at Simeon, and he was on the shelf for nearly six months.
He admittedly was overweight when he returned to the court, but was considerably lighter by the time he led Simeon to its fourth consecutive state championship.
“He works really hard,” Sonny Parker said. “It is made up.”