Who Is Jahlil Okafor?
Jahlil Okafor has been a star basketball player all his life, pampered by the Chicago AU system, and coveted by hundreds of colleges before he settled on being coached at Duke by Mike Krzyzewski.
When players go to Duke and are coached by Krzyzewski, we assume that they are all good soldiers, shaper properly and mollified by the Duke system and ready for life, even though many of them come out after one year of college and are 19 years old.
But do we really know Jahlil Okafor?
What we know now is that Okafor really likes his celebrity status and likes to go out – already! – to night clubs. In Old City, he got into a beef so severe that some knucklehead pulled a gun on him. He was clocked going 106 miles per hour on the Ben Franklin Bridge, which comes as major news to me since I always seem to get behind a guy going under the speed limit and I can never get around him. And then there were the Boston fights – not one but two. He concealed the second one from his bosses at the 76ers, but there is always TMZ and somebody with a cellphone camera, so he didn’t get away with his very active evening. The Sixers banged him with a two-game suspension, hours after they had announced they were providing him a body guard for protection.
I laugh when I hear people say “well, the losing is getting to him and he’s acting out his frustrations when someone dares taunt him about the Sixers being so God awful.” Jahlil Okafor is now a paid professional with the responsibilities that come with that. He’s losing, yes, but he’s still getting a paycheck to play basketball, just like you may be getting paid to make widgets that may not be the top selling in the industry.
We went through this with Allen Iverson years ago. Our rationale was always that Iverson was a kid and that he would eventually grow up. He never really did because of his entitlement. Maybe Okafor will turn out different, and mature.
But when a young basketball player starts bragging about his entitlement by yelping, “We got money you broke ass (nitwits), he’s maybe already at a point of no return.
And what about the drinking part? How is Jahlil Okafor permitted to venture into local bars when he’s 19 and the drinking age is 21? Yes, Jahlil looks like he’s 39, not 19. But still. Where was the outrage from the Sixers for that? And why didn’t they immediately suspend Okafor after the first two incidents? Why did they need the surfacing of a second video from TMZ to finally issue a suspension?
The Sixers can’t get out of their own way. They suspend their star player a day AFTER a must-lose game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Why not suspend him before that game so they can continue to lose and help the Lakers win. For those of you who have forgotten, the Sixers get the Lakers draft pick next year only if the Lakers DON’T finish in the top three in the draft. We need the Lakers to WIN you crazies, not lose.