Most NBA players dread the final game of the preseason.
Not Chandler Parsons.
Parsons is home.
The Rockets’ second-year forward graduated from Lake Howell High, attended the University of Florida and went to Orlando Magic games as a kid. He’ll have plenty of family and friends inside Amway Center tonight.
“I think half of my salary is gone on a preseason game in Orlando,” he joked after the Rockets finished their shootaround.
Actually, he’ll have about 50 people in the stands.
The Rockets opened their regular season last December in Orlando, but Parsons, who was a rookie, didn’t get into the game. He wound up starting 57 of the Rockets’ games, and averaged 9.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
“Chandler came in last year as a guy who was a real mature rookie,” Houston coach Kevin McHale said. “He can play without the ball and helped all of his teammates look better and play better. He just was fantastic last year, and this year, he’s got more confidence and knows what we want to do. He’s one of the few guys coming back, so I think he feels some ownership of the team.”
Parsons participated in the Shooting Stars competition during All-Star Weekend at Amway Center in February.
“This is still crazy to me — just coming here [to Magic games] for so many years as a fan,” he said. “My grandparents are still season-ticket holders in 108 . . . So this is kind of weird for me.”
“It’s going to be fun,” he added. “Just to be able to play in front of your family, they don’t get a chance to see me play live a lot. So it’ll be special for me to come here even though it’s preseason.”
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times