MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Year one in Grizzly Blues didn't go as planned for Memphis forward Chandler Parsons.
After signing a 4-year $94 million deal with Memphis, Parsons' season last year could not have been worse.
A lingering right knee injury forced him to miss all of training camp and the first six games of the season.
When he finally got on the court, Parsons' numbers failed to meet the hype surrounding his signing.
His season hit rock bottom in early March when he suffered a partial tear of the meniscus in his left knee, forcing another season-ending surgery, but what seemed like the worst possible outcome turned into a blessing.
"Just great because this is the first time in three years that I've had a full offseason to do my rehab working on my game," Parsons said. "While doing other things like yoga, pilates, boxing classes. Doing a whole bunch of stuff to maintain my cardio without playing 5-on-5 pickup, but I feel unbelievable."
Great news for Parsons, and also for Grizzlies faithful.
In the midst of his slump, Parsons was one of the most heavily criticized players in the NBA. He said he understands the fans' concerns and now asks for their support.
"Just stick with me," Parsons said. "I signed a four-year deal not a one year deal. It didn't go the way I wanted it to go last year, and trust me they're not more upset than I was about it. I understand fans are going to be fans and they have high expectations for me and I have the same for myself."
Parsons' positive attitude is also a testament to the support of his teammates and coaches.
Despite training in Los Angeles where Parsons spends his offseasons, he said he hasn't been detached from his fellow Grizzlies teammates.
"Mike (Conley) was in LA and I got dinner with Mike," Parsons said. "I've been working out with Z-Bo a couple of times. TA's coming out on the 15th. Talk to Marc (Gasol) all the time. The young guys I check in with them. In between the medical staff and I got dinner with Fizz the other day for his birthday. All these guys have been very supportive throughout the whole thing."
With backing from his team and his health finally where he wants it, Parsons has his sights set on making some noise this upcoming season.
"Obviously I look at last year like a huge failure," Parsons said. "I've never had a failure like that in my career so far. So I look at it like I really set myself up for most improved next year."
Just staying healthy would be improvement enough.