Before You Boo Parsons Tonight, Remember This

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So, it’s been a few days since the season opener, and unless you’ve been disconnected from Grizzlies media, you’ve noticed there’s been a lot of talk about the booing of Chandler Parsons during the season opener.  There are varying views of the situation.  I was there and can affirm that there were more cheers than boos.  The franchise did have an opinion about it.  Simply stated, they didn’t like it.



From Coach Fizdale to team captains, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, there was clear displeasure expressed regarding the booing of Parsons.  Conley could obviously speak on it first hand, as he too has been booed by this fan base at one point.  Maybe Gasol channeled some of his big brother since Pau Gasol has also been booed by this fan base when he was a part of it.  Parsons took great offense to the booing calling it tasteless and declaring that he’d just start to treat home games like road games, or loosely translated by me and most others, enemy territory.  It’s hard to speak rationally when your feelings are hurt, and clearly his feelings were hurt.  In my opinion, he should have just gone with his standard, “I’ve been working, but I’ve got to play better” type answer and let his teammates and his coach speak for him.  However, I know it’s easier to get out of your feelings and think with a rational mind after you’ve stuck your foot in your mouth as opposed to when it’s actually happening.



Grizz Nation, y’all know I love you, right?  Let me start there in case this goes left for some of you.  I love you and want what’s best for you.  I’ve had a couple of days to think on it, and I still can’t really get with booing a player on your team.  At first, I thought it was because I’m not a huge booer (that’s really not a word, but go with me) anyway, but after further review, I realized that wasn’t it.  You can try to justify booing a player on your own team a thousand different ways to me, and when you’re done, you still won’t convince me that it isn’t tacky and counterproductive.  Here’s a few reasons why I think it’s not okay to boo Parsons (or any other Grizzlies’ player for that matter) and why booing him isn’t the best idea.



Chandler Parsons is making millions of dollars to do nothing…so, it’s okay for me to boo him.


No. No, it’s not.  First off, what Parsons makes or doesn’t really isn’t the concern of the majority of us.  We’re not married to him, in his family, one of his friends, or an employee of his.  Our bank accounts don’t increase or decrease based off of what Parsons makes.  Secondly, he didn’t hold anyone at gunpoint to get paid.  This wasn’t a robbery.  He was made an offer.  He accepted the offer.  By now, his salary shouldn’t even be a talking point.  Whether we agree on whether he’s overpaid or not doesn’t matter.  He’s been guaranteed a salary for this season and two more that you, nor I, have to pay.



I buy tickets or have season tickets…so, it’s okay for me to boo him.


No.  No, it’s not.  Here’s the thing:  Parsons is a part of a sporting event that you willingly pay for.  This isn’t required.  You’re not going to live or die by watching a Grizzlies game.  No one is holding a gun to your head to make you buy tickets.  You have a choice.  If you’re no longer impressed with the event that’s being presented, you have the power to stop supporting this entertainment event.



The tickets and products that I buy benefit him…so, it’s okay for me to boo him.

No.  No, it’s not.  This is my seventh season as a season ticket holder.  What I’ve paid in those seven seasons for tickets, food and beverages, and items at the Grizz Den, bought maybe a few of the new TVs…if I’m lucky.  So, no, these drops in the bucket aren’t making a difference in Chandler Parsons’ salary.  Once again, the power in this scenario is yours.  If you’re underwhelmed, stop spending.


They got rid of Zach Randolph and Tony Allen and kept this guy…so, it’s okay for me to boo him.

No. No, it’s not.  “They” didn’t resign Randolph and Allen, and while I’m sad about that too, it’s for sentimental, not rational business reasons.  Everybody’s telling Parsons to get out of his feelings, when if this is among your arguments, you’re in yours too.  The style of play that we’re witnessing the Grizzlies play right now isn’t a style of play that Randolph or Allen would thrive in.  That’s why they weren’t resigned.  They’re both still good players; they just didn’t fit this style.   I can hear some of you saying “if Parsons wasn’t getting all that money, they could’ve paid Randolph and Allen.”  The truth of the matter is no matter what Parsons was getting, “they” had no intentions of paying Randolph or Allen going forward.  This isn’t a Parsons issue.  This is an issue with “they”.  Just because booing “they” isn’t really an option that doesn’t mean Parsons should be.



The guy is always on Instagram posting videos of vacations and joking around everywhere but Memphis…so, it’s okay for me to boo him.

No.  No, it’s not.  Do you spend every waking minute of your day working?  How much of your work preparation do you post on social media?  When you go on vacation or enjoy a night out, do you post your pics or make IG stories?  These players are people too.  They’re just people that make more money and have more extravagant lives than you or I.  We can’t act like a scorned lover because he chooses to live and work out in another city. That’s just not rational.

How often are you at the Grizzlies practice gym (or any practice gym) to know how he prepares?  When was the last time you shadowed him to know what he does every day?  Sure, he posts a lot of pics and videos living the life because YOLO, right.  Do you post the day-to-day, regular activities of your life or just the highlights?  Here’s a novel idea…maybe he posts the highlights too, and it’s not okay to boo him because sometimes his highlights are better than ours.



Booing Parsons won’t make him better.


If you watch him, it’s obvious that there is a mental barrier at work in his play.  We’ve all seen him pass up shots that we’d prefer he takes.  You can ask anyone in my section how often I scream “shoot it Chandler” (and I use expletives at home).  Often, it appears as if he’s overthinking.  He has lost confidence, and it is apparent.  I mean, who wants to be bad at their job?  Who wants to be bad at something you were really once good at?

It may be just lost confidence in his game, or it could also be lost confidence in his body.  Prime Parsons had a ton of confidence, and it’s unfortunately obvious that we don’t have Prime Parsons.  What is different from last season though is that he does appear to be willing to take shots that he feels he can make.  That’s a start because there was a time he wasn’t taking any shots and was avoiding contact and the ball altogether.   Booing says “I don’t have confidence in you” or “I don’t trust you” or “You suck”.  The trouble with that is mentally he may be already thinking all those things because the man is taunted on social media DAILY.  So, when there’s booing at a HOME game, we simply confirm that your Grizz Family thinks you suck too and compound an already bad issue.



Booing Parsons doesn’t make anybody want to join our franchise.

Let’s face it.  “They” signed Parsons because nobody else was trying to make their way to this franchise, and he was a big name.  Period.  Point blank.  Case closed.  From the outside looking in, why would anyone be raring to be a part of this franchise?  We’re a small market team, in a city that’s just big enough to be considered to be a city and not the country, yet small enough that there’s only about a degree of separation from most of its residents.  The franchise is making it to the playoffs but can’t seem to get over the hump.  The season right after they make it to the Western Conference Finals they didn’t renew the contract of their head coach because he and the powers that be bumped heads and have had two coaches since then; so, things could seem a little unstable to the outside eye.  And to top it off…they boo their own players???  Yeah, mark most people down as a “no” for jumping on that ride.



Booing Parsons confirms more about us than it says about him.

Growing up in this city we’ve always had basketball.  Whether it was Memphis State turned U of M, the Memphis Rockers of the WBL, the Memphis Pros, turned Tams, turned Sounds of the ABA, local high schools or the Memphis Grizzlies, this city loves its basketball.  However, what has always been true is that as hard as we love you, we’ll turn on you just as fast.  I’ve seen it happen too many times, and if you’re born and raised here and of a certain age, you have too if you’re honest.  It’s totally Memphis to boo a guy in game 1 of the season.  TOTALLY.  Our patience and tolerance are low, and our expectations are high.  Always have been for as long as I can remember.



Most likely if you’re reading this, you’re an adult.  I’m well aware that you can’t tell grown people what to do.  So, I’m not telling you not to boo him.  However, I just wanted to lay out why I don’t think it’s cool in hopes that some of you may see it differently.  This may be one of those things we agree to disagree on though.  That’s cool, too.  I’ll still love you, and I hope you’ll still love me too.  We, including Parsons, all want the same thing: to see this team & franchise successful & thriving in the city of Memphis. They need our support to do that.




See y’all at the game tonight!  Let’s go #GrindCity!

Carmen Patton
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