It’s never a good sign when an athlete has his own tag in the pages of TMZ, and Philadelphia 76ers rookie Jahlil Okafor is no exception. In the latest revelation from a week of unsavory reports, footage of a second fight from his busy trip to Boston has emerged. Today, the Sixers made their first move to get out in front of the story by suspending Okafor for the next two games, which come tonight at the New York Knicks and on Saturday when the Sixers host the Denver Nuggets.
When Philadelphia drafted Okafor with the third overall pick of last June’s draft, the main concern with the pick across the league was his projected lack of fit with incumbent center Nerlens Noel. So far, the Sixers’ imbalanced front-court — Okafor providing all offense and no defense, and vice-versa for Noel — has been a contributing factor to the team’s league-worst 1-18 start.
Whether or not the Sixers intend to trade Okafor, or whether they believe that he and Noel will eventually figure out a more productive style of play, there is simply no way that this moment spins positively for the Sixers. With outstanding scoring wing Robert Covington back to full health, and with the team fresh off their first win of the season, over the Los Angeles Lakers, it will be interesting to see how the Sixers respond to two games without the ability to simply dump the ball to Okafor in the post.