Jahlil Okafor addressed his recent off-court trouble with a statement on Twitter that pointed the finger at himself (All four Twitter links). The Sixers rookie has overshadowed his strong early-season play with transgressions that made tabloid headlines.
“I hold myself to a higher standard than anyone else ever could and I’m not proud of some of my decisions over the last few months,” Okafor wrote. “I own my choices both personally and now publicly. At this point I am cooperating and respecting the process I have to go through. Going forward I don’t want to be a distraction for my team and am grateful for the support and guidance those close to me are giving. I am 100% focused on my responsibility to the League, my teammates and fans.”
See more on this year’s No. 3 overall pick amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:
- Okafor indeed bears responsibility for his own actions, but the Sixers set him up for failure when they surrounded him with a roster that features only one player, Carl Landry, with more than three years of experience, argues Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. That’s in contrast to the Knicks and Kristaps Porzingis, who quickly connected with ninth-year veteran Sasha Vujacic and has publicly credited 11th-year veteran Jose Calderon for his friendship and mentorship, Isola notes.
- Brett Brown has said he’s willing to bear the weight of mentorship that would usually fall to veteran players, but Sixers management is putting too much strain on the coach, as Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News believes. Cooney points to previous incidents, including one involving Sixers players and marijuana two years ago and a separate set of missteps that saw Nerlens Noel rack up around $25K in fines during his rookie season.
- Terrence Ross has gone scoreless four times this season, including Sunday’s game, and the three-year, $31MM extension to which the Raptors signed him less than a month ago is already looking like a mistake, observes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.