Embattled basketball star Ray Parks Jr. said he may be forced to "step away from basketball" for a while to clear his mind after receiving online backlash from fans following his announcement to go on a sabbatical.
In an interview with basketball analyst Joaquin Henson, Parks lamented he has been painted as the bad guy especially after refusing to sign a max offer renewal with TNT Tropang GIGA.
"I've been called a prima donna, I’m like the villain,” he said in Henson's report to Philstar.com.
“Right now, I think the best thing to do is to step away. My mother in LA is recovering from depression and I’m afraid this latest attack on my character by fans in social media will make her unstable."
Early this month, Parks, the son of the late PBA legend Bobby parks, announced his decision to take a leave of absence. The move caught his mother team off guard.
But TNT team owner Manny V. Pangilinan and team governor Ricky Vargas are skeptical over Parks' reasons for his sabbatical.
This especially after Pangilinan posted on social media a photo of Parks apparently on vacation in La Union, instead of in California where he claimed to be.
Parks told Henson he will explore the possibility of playing overseas. He, however, admitted that will require FIBA clearance from SBP and his mother club TNT.
“I hope FIBA allows me the chance to continue playing in another country,” he said.
“If I’m not allowed, I’m prepared to walk away from the game I love. I’ll find a job and try to make a living for my family.”
In the 2020 conference, Parks averaged 22.4 points in 17 games with 7.8 boards and 1.5 steals. He was also part of the PBA All-Rookie Team in 2019.
FROM THE ARCHIVES