Jahlil Okafor Still Learning as All-Star Weekend
As the Sixers reach NBA all-star weekend at just 8-45, it fair to ask the question if progress is being made.
Watching the Sixers cough up another double-digit lead last night vs the Kings, sometimes is very frustrating, but all part of the growing up process. Rookie Jahlil Okafor had a monster game on Wednesday, scoring 26 points on 11-of-18 FGs and 4-of-5 FTs with 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in 39 minutes.
Sixers coach Brett Brown joined me on the Sports Bash and talked about what he has learned about his rookie big man up to the all-star break.
"I think the first thing I'm learning is he lets me coach him," Brown explained. "He wants to be coached, you can have very, very candid conversations about where you see him, what you expect from him - he's very, very coachable.
Many people feel that the losing wears on young players and that Okafor wants out the door as soon as possible - but Okafor rejected that notion in a conversation with ESPN.com.
"I've heard the rumors," Okafor said. "Philadelphia is where I want to be. The fans here have been nothing but amazing to me and the team. I really love the city and the organization and there is no doubt in my mind, we are going to be really good really soon - so I'm excited about that."
The game is changed, sports have changed, the NBA is changing - being stuck in the middle is no longer something teams look at as success. Its something Okafor knew as soon as he was taken by the Sixers with the No. 3 overall pick in this years draft.
"I knew going it it was a rebuilding process," Okafor admitted. "People ask me, 'how are you doing with all the losing'? Its been fine, we all have fun together, everyday we work hard at practice and try to get better everyday."
At the all-star break Okafor has averages of 17.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.