It’s been a rough season for Philadelphia 76ers’s first-round draft pick, Jahlil Okafor. His team has been struggling to find wins, and he seems to constantly find himself in off-the-court trouble. Okafor was suspended for two games because of recent videos of him getting into fights outside of a Boston nightclub after a game against the Celtics.
Okafor was also pulled over for driving 108 miles-per-hour on the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia, as well as allegedly being involved in an altercation in Philadelphia a month before that, during which a man was reported to have drawn a gun on Okafor.
Okafor has tweeted out his remorse for his bad decision making but more needs to be done to help him. He is one of the NBA’s best rookies, but he’s in a terrible situation; in order to teach him a lesson, he needs to be punished further than a two-game suspension.
While punishment is necessary, he is not entirely to blame for his actions; problems within the 76ers are also to blame. They have a team full of young players that would have a hard time making any other roster in the NBA. There isn’t a winning culture for the team, nor are there veterans to teach the young players how things are done in the NBA. By putting such a poor team on the floor, in which Okafor is the best player already, he has a sense of entitlement. He has no one to look up to and no one to show him the way; there’s a terrible losing culture in the 76ers’s organization. Okafor’s problems are a mere microcosm of the 76ers’s problems as an organization.
If the 76ers had Okafor’s best interest in mind, and wanted to help build him into a better man in the future, they should fine him, then suspend him at least 5-10 games so he truly understands the magnitude of his actions. He can’t be out at nightclubs, fighting, and giving his team and himself a bad name.
Okafor needs to stay out of trouble and work on his game, hoping that one day the 76ers can put some talent around him. Since he will be one of the candidates for “Rookie of the Year,” despite how poor his team is playing this season, he has a bright future in the NBA, but he needs to hold himself to a higher standard.