Sixers Rookie Jahlil Okafor Happy to be a Part of Sixers Rebuild
Many people thought that Jahlil Okafor didn't want the Sixers to draft him when the Sixers called his name with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, one of the reasons was the infamous jersey dropping incident during his introductory press conference.
Okafor joined Sports Bash Warm-up host Rich Quinones during the Sixers Beach Bash and set the record straight about that.
"If you saw the video, there was a table there, Okafor explained. "But the video that blew up was the one where it looked like the jersey fell on the floor - it's the world i'm a part of now."
"I'm happy to be here," Okafor stated.
With Joel Embiid expected to miss another full year with a foot injury, Okafor should get major minutes alongside Nerlens Noel in the paint for the Sixers. While Okafor said he was satisfied with his summer league performance, where in five games, he averaged 15.8 points, 8.4 boards, 1.4 assists and 0.8 blocks on 44.0 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from the line, he knows he has a lot to work on. His post game already looks fine tuned, but Okafor acknowledged that he'll need to work on other aspects of his game.
"The thing I learned was how fast the game is," Okafor explained. "The 24 second shot clock, that speeds everything up, that was the biggest transition for me, but I have a lot of weaknesses that I am working on right now to get ready for the season."
One thing Okafor understands is that the Sixers are building towards something special and that while it will not happen overnight, that if they keep and build with a young core, they can become a force in the NBA Eastern Conference.
"We're a young team with a lot of talent," Okafor acknowledged. "We're the youngest team in the NBA. I think we can play well this year, we're all eager to start the season."
Many NBA observers have wondered who coach Brett Brown will work all the big men together, but one thing's for sure, Okafor likes what he sees in coach Brown and even likes one of the players Brown worked with and hopes he can get his game to that level.
"He's someone who is excited," Okafor said about coach Brown. "Every time I've talked to him he gets me excited about him being my coach. He coached Tim Duncan, who's my favorite player, who I model my game after. I'm excited for him (Coach Brown) to teach me this year."
If Okafor turns about to be Tim Duncan, Sixers fans won't ever remember if he dropped his jersey on the floor or the table - they'll remember all the banners he gave them in Philadelphia.
(Listen to Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor)