'Underrated' Parsons lets Howard, Harden take spotlight
MANILA, Philippines – His opponents recognize him as one of the most underrated stars in the NBA, but Houston forward Chandler Parsons is content to let the more celebrated Rockets player take the spotlight.
Parsons, entering his third year in the league, is expected to play a major role for a Houston team that has NBA championship aspirations after adding All-Star center Dwight Howard in the summer.
Prior to their NBA preseason game in Manila, Indiana forwards Paul George and Danny Granger both recognized the role that Parsons has taken with the Rockets.
“Chandler Parsons might be one of the most underrated players in this league,” said George, an All-Star selection last year and the Most Improved Player.
“If you compliment (Howard) with James Harden and Jeremy Lin, and even the young kid Chandler Parsons, they have a good young core and they’ll be a good team,” added Granger.
Parsons was also recognized by NBA legend Robert Horry as the “glue guy” of the Rockets earlier this week. The forward out of Florida repaid all the recognition by scoring 15 points in Houston’s 116-96 victory over Indiana Thursday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“(Being underrated) has been my path my whole career,” Parsons told reporters earlier in the week. “I’ve been flying under the radar, and I never really got all the accolades growing up. I was drafted in the second round.”
“But I use that as motivation going forward throughout my career,” he added.
Moreover, Parsons does not really need to take a starring role for Houston considering that they have Howard and All-Star guard James Harden in their line-up, along with Jeremy Lin, who spawned the “Linsanity” phenomenon when he was playing for the New York Knicks in February 2012.
“We have superstars,” said Parsons. “We got Dwight, we got James, we got all these high-caliber players. So I don’t need all the attention. I’m just gonna come here every single game and do whatever it takes for my team to win.”
After their preseason victory, Parsons said he took Horry’s words as a compliment.
“I just try to do whatever I can every single night to put our team in the best position to win,” he said. “Play defense, rebound. My game is very versatile and I can do a lot of different things to win.”
In his second season in the league, Parsons had per game averages of 15.5 points to go along with 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists. In the playoffs, he increased his averages to 18.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists in six games.