Emeka Okafor last appeared in an NBA game on April 17th, 2013. On Monday night, the 35-year-old Okafor completed his long comeback journey when he checked into a game for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Okafor had played for New Orleans from 2009 to 2012, but that was way back when they were the Hornets. The big man was drafted 2nd overall in 2004 by the Charlotte Bobcats out of the University of Connecticut and played for nine seasons before his long break from the NBA.

After the 2012-2013 season, Okafor was traded to the Phoenix Suns and subsequently missed the entire next season due to a herniated disc in his neck. Okafor became a free agent after the 2013-2014 season and didn’t sign another contract with a team until September 25th of 2017. On that day, the former Huskie signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, but only played for their G-League affiliate. When the season ended, Okafor hit the open market once again.

The big man never gave up hope and over the past weekend on February 3rd, Okafor signed a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. NOLA is hoping he could be an unexpected fill in for DeMarcus Cousins, lost for the season due to injury last week.

The reaction was predictably positive, both in the arena and online:

Whether Okafor can stick around longer than his 10-day remains to be seen, but he was already doing Emeka Okafor things:

That bodes well.

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.