The Milwaukee Bucks (20-23) held a team meeting on Friday night in Orlando after dropping their fourth straight game. 21-year-old Bucks star Jabari Parker then confirmed the team meeting to the media, and said how he spoke up in the meeting, but that what he said was not well-received by his teammates:
Here’s what Parker told the media about the locker room discussion, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes:
“I spoke up for the first time, and it didn’t go my way,” Parker said to the media. “I was getting thrashed, but hey, as long as I give them another perspective, I did my job.”
Well, for the first time all season, Parker didn’t start in what would be the Bucks’ fifth straight loss on Saturday to the Miami Heat. And Haynes reports that the benching was due to Parker violating a team rule for telling the media about the locker room discussion:
Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker did not start in Saturday’s road loss to the Miami Heat for violating a team rule that prohibits disclosing locker room discourse to the media, league sources told ESPN.
Haynes adds that Parker “voiced his frustration with the lack of togetherness”:
After dropping their fourth consecutive game on Friday in Orlando, the Bucks held a team meeting in which Parker became vocal in voicing his frustration with the lack of togetherness, sources said.
And perhaps the most interesting part of this story is not the benching itself, but who decided on it. Haynes reports that the Bucks’ players were the ones that decided on the punishment for Parker, rather than head coach Jason Kidd:
Parker’s teammates deliberated and decided the appropriate punishment for the violation was to bring him off the bench against the Heat, league sources told ESPN
Despite beginning the game on the bench, Parker still ended up playing 32 minutes (third-most on the team) and scoring 16 points. The second overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft is second on the Bucks in scoring at 20.4 points per game.