Luol Deng lived Jabari Parker's Thursday. Ten years ago, Deng, the second-ranked high school player behind LeBron James, held a news conference to announce his decision to play for coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. "(Parker's) the best player, so it just shows you another great job by Duke and the way they recruit," Deng said. "It's a great school and program. Playing for Coach K is something special. You either realize it before you go, while you're there or when you leave. "And the crazy thing is he still calls all his players and stays in contact with them. He was actually here in Chicago the other day; I think he went to Whitney Young. We were on the phone for almost an hour. We spoke about basketball at the end, but he's talking about other things. That's what makes him unique." Deng held a joint news conference with Blair Academy (N.J.) teammate Charlie Villanueva by his side. Villanueva opted for Illinois before later changing his commitment to Connecticut and Jim Calhoun. Deng said both enjoyed the moment and had no issue with Parker staging a similar event, albeit one televised on a national cable station. "As a kid, you're always going to talk about the day you committed," Deng said. "You want to make it unique. Charlie and I had a big press conference, a big school event. I will always remember that day. It's just one day. Every kid out there has a chance to do a press conference and get your family members together. It's fun. "It makes you think you're big-time and you're definitely headed to the NBA. And you get a big head and walk around campus like you're the man. Nah," he added with a laugh, "it's just cool." So is Parker attending Duke, according to Deng, who acknowledged the Chicago connection now that he plays for the Bulls, Parker hails from Simeon and Krzyzewski attended Weber.
Bulls' Deng has been in Parker's shoes
Chicago Tribune | Dec 21