Smush Parker hopes to be a Raptor
Old 07-12-2009, 10:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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In 2005, Smush Parker gained notoriety by going from undrafted free agent to the starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. He had already spent parts of two seasons playing for the Cavaliers, Suns and Pistons; but it was a strong summer league performance that put Parker in a backcourt with Kobe Bryant.

"Summer league has been big for me when I played for the Lakers," Paker said after playing in a summer league game as a member of Toronto's squad. "I just sort of shot into a starting position after starring in the summer league."

But just as soon as he could get comfortable around Bryant, Phil Jackson and Jack Nicholson, Parker found himself spiraling towards irrelevance.

In two seasons with the Lakers, Parker played in all 164 regular season games amassing a total of 5,229 minutes. Since then, Parker has appeared in a total of 28 combined games between the Clippers and the HEAT and didn't play one minute in the NBA last season.

How far from the NBA did Parker fall? Try the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.

"I'm a humble person naturally," Parker told HOOPSWORLD. "It was definitely a humbling experience though. Going from starting two years for a franchise like the Los Angeles Lakers and then you can't get a job."

Now as a 28-year-old, Parker is leaving everything on the floor during the Las Vegas Summer League in an effort to prove he belongs… again.

"It's not different at all," said Parker. "It's basketball. I've been doing this for eight years now. It's the same mindset. Just come in, play your game, it's all about the opportunity. This as a showcase for NBA teams and I'm trying to make a spot on the Toronto Raptors. I'm looking forward to what happens
after this NBA Summer League."

Through two games, Parker has scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting while chipping in eight assists. For a team with little depth at point guard or shooting guard (at 6-4 Parker can play both positions) Toronto may be the place where he can forget about the past and move on with his career.

"I always have a clean slate with guys," said Raptors Coach Jay Triano. "I know he's had a history of different things, but you deal with different guys in different ways. He's been perfect so far with us and hopefully he continues to happen and he makes a spot for himself on the team."

Rumors surrounded Parker's descent but he may be proving his critics wrong by displaying the perfect summer league attitude. He knows that forcing shots, isolation plays and frustration fouls are a one-way ticket back to Guangdong.

"As a point guard you have to pick up your personnel in practice," he said. "Whether it's two days, three days, you just have to get a feel for your team. Everything else is a wing. You wing it out there. You can't plan certain things out there. As I said, you just have to play your game."

Parker has grown from a player that may have struggled with instruction to someone who doesn't need any. The Raptors haven't given him any specifics on how to make the team—he already knows what to do.

"They didn't tell me anything," he concluded. "I've been doing this for eight years. I know what I need to do: be a coach on the court, a positive influence to guys like (rookie DeMar) DeRozan, get the guys in the offense and be a team player."

Parker and the Raptors square off against the Portland's summer league squad Monday. After that, he will have three more games to prove himself as an NBA player or to fade into obscurity once again.

"I think he might have been one of the best players on the floor," concluded Triano.

Sounds like a step in the right direction.
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Here is a guy missing from the mix in discussions around here. He has a legit shot at making the team this year. He may be Colangelo's diamond in the rough. He would come cheap and that's important now that Colangelo is trying to spend the MLE on Jack and hardly anything is left.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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meh..might be irrelevent with jose/jack/ukic/douby even if he does make the team. The pg/sg spot is getting stacked if we get jack...never thought i'd say that...
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If this happens I will hate BC. The guy is a fucking prick, terrible teammate, and terrible player.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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lol we already have enough Point guards.... no need for more except Center
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't need him especially if we get Jack and even if Pacers match then I would rather have a different back-up PG
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If Parker made the team it would be for the vet minimum. We're talking pennies in NBA numbers.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If Parker made the team it would be for the vet minimum. We're talking pennies in NBA numbers.
I don't necessarily think money is the issue, it's what he'll do to the chemistry when he doesn't get his.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't necessarily think money is the issue, it's what he'll do to the chemistry when he doesn't get his.
If he were signed it would probably be like Moon or Andre Barrett's first contracts, all unguaranteed money, able to be released without a penalty to the cap...In other words, zero risk. The guy washed out of the league and is looking for a second chance, do you seriously think he's going to stir shit up?
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old habits die hard

You're right though, the chances of it happening initially are small. Who knows, maybe it takes a contract extension and a year of sitting on the bench for him to start whining.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When I heard "free agents are trying to come here" , I was really hoping for better than Smush Parker.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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When I heard "free agents are trying to come here" , I was really hoping for better than Smush Parker.
They have gotten better. Hedo just signed. Jack signed an offer sheet. That's all the money except for the bi-annual exception.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If he were signed it would probably be like Moon or Andre Barrett's first contracts, all unguaranteed money, able to be released without a penalty to the cap...In other words, zero risk. The guy washed out of the league and is looking for a second chance, do you seriously think he's going to stir shit up?
Ask about Smush Parker on the Lakers board. Hes one of the most hated Laker players ever not just because he sucked.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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we are so thin at the most athletic position which is the 3. We only got Hedo and now we are planning to sign Jack and looking at guys in our summer league roster, its the undersized guards (Douby, Parker) that are excelling.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I saw him a couple times in the D-League here in South Texas for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Let me tell you, he is a horrible teammate. He would talk back to the coach on almost every trip down the court. During timeouts, he wouldn't even listen to the coach. He would put his attention towards the cheerleaders. He is a virus.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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fck him...he's redundant if we sign JJ and he sounds like someone the Raptors don't need
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Yea Douby's been playing better. I'd rather have him than Smush for that 15th spot.
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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definiatly not worth raps time
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Is it just me or is Smush just TJ Ford without a team.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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me wants to be a Raptor too
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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me wants to be a Raptor too
Same here Credit to him though, he has been playing well and looked the part during the summer league games. Unfortunately for him, our team is almost pretty much done and he won't even get a sniff.
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