News seems to be breaking daily on Jahlil Okafor. With the Sixers now suspending him for two games (Yeah, that’ll show him, cue eye roll) for the second fight video that was just released, more questions are starting to be asked of Okafor’s past. Okafor’s behavior has been troubling and with potential lawsuits rarin’ to go, it seems to me that there has to be some sort of mentoring that needs to take place. Kobe thinks so. Charles Barkley thinks that “some fans are scumbags” and that Okafor needs to be careful now because he’s a target.
Are these incidents just a product of a young kid being placed in a high profile situation, where he’s having trouble understanding how to deal with fame and losing? Perhaps. But, were there incidents when Okafor was attending Duke, that we just didn’t hear about? It’s certainly possible. Some universities will go to extreme lengths to protect their athletes, just ask FSU. I think we need to learn more of Jah’s past before we can move forward and find solutions for helping the big man out.
Who better to ask than Duke coach, Mike Krzyzewski his thoughts about the Okafor saga? Krzyzewski spoke to ESPN after Duke’s win over Indiana on Wednesday night.
Jah is one of the greatest kids ever. Ever, ever, ever, ever. He did a couple of stupid things, and so knock him for it. Suspend him, but let’s move on. Make him learn from it, but don’t characterize him based on that. He’s a special, special kid.”
“He got into a situation, and he made a mistake, but they also need to have security. When we are with the U.S. team, everybody has security because they’re targets. But he’s got to be smart, and he was not.”
Thanks for stating the obvious, Coach K.
Only time will tell if more stories come to life from past or present that help shed light on how deep of an issue we’re dealing with for Okafor.