As the Milwaukee Bucks wrapped up training camp practice early Wednesday afternoon, two players stayed on the court for extra work with assistant coaches Frank Johnson and Greg Foster. Together, they worked on shooting, finishing in the post, rim-running, pick-and-rolls and more during a full-speed session that lasted more than 45 minutes. One of the players was center Greg Monroe. The other was forward Jabari Parker. Wearing a black tank top and black sweatpants, there were no visible signs Parker was still rehabbing from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament suffered less than eight months ago, his second such injury in three years. You wouldn't know Parker was ailing by the way he ran the court, moving smoothly from end to end. You wouldn't know it from the way he set picks against invisible opponents and easily cut and rolled to the hoop. You wouldn't know it from the way he pivoted and moved his feet in the post while working against Foster and former Bucks star Vin Baker, each of whom took turns buffeting him with a pad as he worked. And you definitely wouldn't know Parker was still more than four months away from his targeted February return by the way he threw down dunks. At one point, Parker caught a pass, drove into the paint and delivered a hard shoulder through Baker's pad into his chest before he pivoted, stepped through and hammered down a right-handed slam. "You look at him and say, 'Man, he's going to play tomorrow,' " Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. "That just shows you how good he looks and how hard he's been working. I think we're all excited by where he's at today. We all understand he still has some time to go before he's cleared to play, but he's doing everything to get himself back." Khris Middleton watched part of the session from the sideline. Even though he's seen Parker's abilities in practice — Parker has participated in non-contact drills during training camp, which started Tuesday — Middleton is still amazed by what his teammate can do. "It's very impressive," Middleton said. "He's a freak athlete. I joke around with him all the time saying, 'I can barely dunk now and you're already dunking off your ACL surgery.' He's a worker; he wants to be great, he wants to be one of the best players ever and he's showing you can't get that without working. He puts the work in."
Bucks' Jabari Parker looks ready to play, but he's not rushing back
Green Bay Press Gazette | Sep 29