Parker refuses to second-guess decision to join Bulls
Jabari Parker was cordial when he stopped to speak with reporters on his way out of the United Center. After returning to his hometown of Chicago last summer as a free agent, he and the Bulls never clicked. Parker was benched for a while after Jim Boylen took over as head coach.
"I have no regrets. I have no backlash," Parker said. "I'm a God-fearing man, so I don't think that nothing is a waste of time and I'm not personal when it comes to that. I'm just happy about where I'm going. I hope that I can be used the way I can and I know that I'm capable of."
Parker was asked if he had any parting advice for the Bulls and the rebuilding project.
"I say for the team, we've got some great talent," Parker said. "Can't speak on my situation, but be consistent with guys. Give them the opportunity to grow. Give them that chance that they have to be free on the floor, because when I came into the league, I didn't know everything at once.
"It's just going to take time, it's going to take patience and that's what J-Kidd (former Bucks coach Jason Kidd) did for me and Giannis (Antetokounmpo). "He let us go through our mistakes, let us develop as men and as players and I see a similar situation for some of the guys on this team."
Okafor enjoys trip home:
While trade talk dominated Wednesday's news, it was still a happy homecoming for New Orleans center Jahlil Okafor.
The former Whitney Young star has been starting and playing well in place of Anthony Davis, who was out with an injured finger and also requested a trade.
"Without a doubt, it's definitely fun," Okafor said before the game. "I was with all my family last night, they're all really excited for the game. They've been here a few times and watched me just sit on the sideline. So everybody's excited and I'm really excited to play in front of them."
Okafor was the No. 3 overall pick by Philadelphia in 2015. After playing well as a rookie, he dropped out of the rotation, was traded to Brooklyn during his third season and was looking for any job he could find last summer when he landed in New Orleans.
"I was definitely interested in the Bulls," Okafor said. "I don't know if my agent had any serious talks. This summer I was pretty much interested in wherever I could go. I really wasn't in a position to choose my destiny. I was fortunate the New Orleans Pelicans wanted to sign me.
"I think everything I experienced the last three years definitely helped me become the player that I am now and the person I am now. I'm definitely better for some of the struggles that I faced early on in my career."
AD still teaching:
New Orleans all-star Anthony Davis, another Chicago native, was at the United Center on Wednesday. He has recovered from a finger injury that kept him out the past two weeks, but it's not clear if he'll be traded before Thursday's deadline or if he'll play for the Pelicans again this season if he's not traded.
"There's definitely a lot of drama and a lot of whispers going around about what we're going to do, A.D. requesting a trade," teammate Jahlil Okafor said.
"But we're just trying to stay together and A.D. has been great. He's been in the locker room, he's been on the bench supportive. He continues to help me every day, so I'm super grateful for him.
"He's like my big brother. He takes care of me, if he has any advice for me, he'll let me know. If he sees anything I can improve on, he lets me know and that hasn't changed."