Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor has had a tough week.
Okafor’s recent transgressions have gone public, and they’re not pretty. Since the start of the season, he’s been held at gun point, cited for reckless driving and driving at an excessive rate of speed (going 108 m.p.h in a 45 m.p.h zone), allegedly using a fake I.D. to try to get into a bar, and got into an altercation in Boston in which he allegedly shoved a man and swung at another one. It’s been quite the professional experience for the 19-year-old who was drafted 3rd overall in 2015 NBA draft.
Now, Okafor’s handlers want some protection for him and have asked the 76ers organization to make a personal security guard available for the former Duke star, according to a report from Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
“A lot of teams do that for their players anyway,” a source close to Okafor said. “So from now on, the Sixers are going to have someone at his disposal full-time.”
It’s good to see Okafor taking some responsibility for his actions, and wanting to improve. The NBA has been known swallow up players, and it’s not that I’m trying to excuse his actions, but he is the best thing the 76ers got going right now—and maybe the best thing Philadelphia sports has going—so the franchise should do everything they can to protect their asset.
For what it’s worth, those close to Okafor told Broussard they’re trying to steer him in the right direction.
“We’re all over him,” one person said. “It’s tough love and support. We’re telling him he has to learn from these things.”
For his sake, he better start learning quicker.