Chandler Parsons‘ great sin? Signing a four-year, $94 million contract and failing to justify it due to injuries. He missed 48 games last season and struggled mightily while on the court.
His more recent transgression? Missing a couple free throws.
The Grizzlies forward missed a pair from the line in yesterday’s season-opening win over the Pelicans, and Memphis fans booed him:
Later, Parsons drew a three-shot foul, and Marc Gasol tried to rally the crowd behind Parsons:
Plenty of fans cheered, but as Parsons went 1-for-3, others still booed.
“I’ll just go into every game with the mentality that it’s a road game, if that’s how it’s going to be,” he said.
Finally, Parsons stuck up for himself, saying, “They can boo me, they can sarcastically cheer me, they can do whatever they want. … It’s tasteless , man, it makes no sense. We’re athletes, we’re human beings. I don’t know them personally, so, it’s just a little strange to me, but that’s sports.”
If Parsons didn’t understand Mavericks fans booing him after he left Dallas, he sure isn’t going to understand Grizzlies fans booing him while he’s still in Memphis.
Fans largely see Parsons as a character in the drama that is the Grizzlies – something removed from their everyday reality. Of course, Parsons is taking it personally. He’s a person, and it’s his everyday reality.
It’s unclear what portion of Memphis fans booed him. Grizzlies fans probably aren’t excited about cheering him right now, but many did – as a direct response to the boos. Even if they would’ve preferred no reaction a vacuum, those cheering fans didn’t want the boo birds speaking for them.
Parsons ought to remember those supportive fans before painting the entire home crowd as the enemy, or else he’ll turn everyone against him. None of this is fair to Parsons, who has surely been frustrated with his injuries, but he can control how he reacts to the fans.