Jabari Parker
Photo: Lucy Hewett

Do you feel added pressure being back in your hometown?

Honestly, it’s a sense of relief. I was in a sticky situation [in Milwaukee] — and I won’t elaborate on it — but I feel like I get a new opportunity here. I’m home, and I know how things work. Like I know what expressway to take, what side streets. It’s second nature.

You passionately defended Derrick Rose’s legacy during your Bulls intro press conference.

That’s my hero. I’m tired of the narrative always being negative for him. Derrick’s a walking monument of success. There’s only a few MVPs of this league. And for him to get one, that was enough — he could’ve just gone home and celebrated. Even after his injuries, he kept on going.

You’ve had a couple of season-ending injuries yourself. Do you think about them when you play?

I embrace my injuries. They’ve built me in ways that I can’t explain. I have an appreciation of what pain and suffering gives you. It gives you fuel and purpose.

What do you think of people saying pro athletes shouldn’t speak about social issues?

Basketball, football, sports, and entertainment — we’re on TV constantly. So why not do something that’s going to help a cause or a situation?

Jabari Parker

What do you like to do when you’re not on the court?

Spend time with my vintage cars. I have too many. My favorites are my Cadillacs. I’ve got a ’65 Cadillac and a ’64. One is champagne and one is pink.

What do you listen to when you’re in your Cadillacs?

Mostly ’70s, ’60s, some ’50s R&B. I’m trying to get the whole experience, so I want to be in a time machine. If I’m in a newer car, I listen to newer music.

What new music do you like?

Kendrick Lamar. J. Cole. Big Sean. Some Drake. I snuck [into a Drake concert this summer at the United Center]. I said I was going to the locker room.

Will we ever see you drive the pink Cadillac around Chicago?

I do it right now. I do it all the time.