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Jabari Parker's emotional interview caps first season overseas but says they're 'tears of gratitude'

Barcelona's Spanish guard Ricky Rubio (bottom) is helped up by Jabari Parker (left) and Barcelona forward lex Abrines during a EuroLeague quarterfinal between FC Barcelona and Olympiakos Piraeus at the Palau Blaugrana arena in Barcelona on May 8, 2024.
Barcelona's Spanish guard Ricky Rubio (bottom) is helped up by Jabari Parker (left) and Barcelona forward lex Abrines during a EuroLeague quarterfinal between FC Barcelona and Olympiakos Piraeus at the Palau Blaugrana arena in Barcelona on May 8, 2024.

Former Milwaukee Bucks No. 2 overall draft pick Jabari Parker just finished his first season playing in Europe, an occasion punctuated by a video interview that's gone viral.

Parker was asked about his first season with FC Barcelona of the Spanish Liga ACB, both on the court and off, in a televised interview with Gerard Romero of Jijantes FC. Parker was too emotional to offer a response, though it wasn't clear what was prompting the response.

He clarified Monday that they were "tears of gratitude," saying he wasn't sure if he could still play at a high level, and he reclaimed his love for the sport in Spain.

There was more to the initial interview, with Parker speaking seemingly with ease and calling the year a "beautiful experience," though he did say it "wasn't easy."

Parker, the 2014 first-round pick by the Bucks out of Duke, faced immediate health obstacles when he tore his left ACL in his rookie season, then tore the same ACL just more than two years later.

How did Jabari Parker fare in Barcelona?

Parker led the team with 12.4 points per game and shot 50% from the field. He was also second on the team in minutes at 21.7 per game. The team took third in the regular season and just lost in the semifinals of the ACB league playoffs to Real Madrid. Barcelona also fell in the quarterfinals of the EuroLeague Playoffs in May.

"They're a great team," Parker said in the aforementioned interview. "We enjoyed the playoff series playing against them. Honestly, they did the intangibles. It wasn't about the talent, per se, individually. It was together, which is why they're more of a threat, because they play so good together, man. They're a good team that I really admire."

Who else plays for FC Barcelona?

The team has a number of former NBA players on the roster including Ricky Rubio, Willy Hernangómez and Tomáš Satoranský.

Where did Jabari Parker play after his time in Milwaukee?

Parker played in Milwaukee through the 2017-18 season and then made several NBA stops, including Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, Sacramento and Boston, most recently in the 2021-22 season.

He was with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2023 summer league before signing with the EuroLeague in August.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker (12) controls the ball in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on April 1, 2018.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker (12) controls the ball in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on April 1, 2018.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Jabari Parker's emotional interview caps first season overseas