Bucks forward Jabari Parker, right, drives to the
basket past Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew
Wiggins during the first half of a preseason NBA
basketball game, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, in Cedar
— Rookie Jabari Parker speaks in the calm, measured
tones of a 10-year veteran. A polished demeanor exudes
confidence, while a strong work ethic draws respect from
his new NBA teammates.
Milwaukee Bucks' 19-year-old forward seems ready for the
off-court attention that comes with being a cornerstone
for a franchise in transition. Now it's time to show if he
can play ball.
am nervous. It is a stretch, 82 games. I'm not really used
to doing it," said the one-and-done star from Duke.
"But looking forward to it. If I want to be in this
league a long time, I just have to throw myself into the
certainly seem like they're there. The 6-foot-8 Parker was
considered one of the top NBA-ready prospects in this
year's draft. It was a no-brainer for general manager John
Hammond when Parker was available with the second overall
Bucks guard Jerryd Bayless (19) drives past New York
Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. in the second half of
their preseason NBA basketball game at Madison
Square Garden, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, in New York.
The Bucks won, 120-107.
franchise with new ownership got rookie star power. Soon
afterward, new owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens
jettisoned coach Larry Drew after one year and hired Jason
Kidd, who came to the Midwest following a messy split with
the Brooklyn Nets.
finally appear to be in a legitimate rebuilding mode after
years of not having a clear-cut philosophy. The team is
also hoping to build a new arena with the help of public
season's franchise-worst 15-67 season seemed to be
rock-bottom. Parker and Kidd hope to give new reasons to
look forward to the future.
offense we ran in Brooklyn is the offense we're trying to
do here," Kidd said. "Share the ball. Make a
play for a teammate. Be unselfish, and take the shot when
it presents itself. They've been doing it since Day 1 of
some things to watch with the new-look Bucks, who open the
season on Oct. 29 in Charlotte:
BUCKS: Milwaukee may have one of the youngest rosters in
the league with Parker and fellow 19-year-old Giannis
Antetokounmpo. They're also the team's two most promising
players, giving Kidd length and flexibility in the
Bucks head coach Jason Kidd directs his players from
the bench in the first half of their preseason NBA
basketball game against the New York Knicks at
Madison Square Garden, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, in New
tough, and I've got to guard myself, I tell you,"
general manager John Hammond said about managing
expectations for the teens. "It's how they are going
to be some day at 21, 22, 23, 24 and beyond in their
careers. I think the sky's the limit."
JABARI: Parker's first preseason outing against Memphis
showed glimpses of what might be to come in this rookie
year. Forward Zach Randolph burned Parker with his lethal
midrange jumper — a shot that's beaten countless other
defenders. Parker went right back at him at the other end.
He looked nervous initially, but started asserting himself
late with a few dunks and strong moves to the bucket,
albeit against Memphis reserves.
he can put the ball in the basket, make plays for his
teammates," Kidd said. "You don't have to call
his number — the ball finds him and he responds in a
Bucks center Larry Sanders, center, pulls down a
rebound against the defense of the Chicago Bulls
during the second half of a preseason NBA game
Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, in Milwaukee.
BEE: The 6-foot-11 Antetokounmpo is getting noticed for
more than just his last name. The Bucks' 2013 first-round
draft pick played point guard in his native Greece and
grew 2 inches in the offseason. He's still learning the
game, and it's possible that he could play a point forward
role at times.
SHOW: Six-foot-11 center Larry Sanders has shown signs
that he is ready to shake off the injuries and off-court
issues that dogged him in 2013-14. Sanders played well in
three preseason games, averaging 10.7 points and 10.0
rebounds before being sidelined by minor surgery for an
undisclosed illness. The Bucks said he would be ready for
the opener, hoping he can revert to his shot-blocking
Kidd is sorting through different options in the backcourt
led by scoring point guard Brandon Knight. The Bucks
signed pass-first point guard Kendall Marshall in the
offseason, so it's possible Milwaukee could go with a
think it gives the defense something different to look at
when there (are) two guys that can create and
penetrate," Knight said. "It's a different look
than what most teams do."
shooting guard O.J. Mayo is also playing well in the
preseason after a subpar 2013-14.