Sixers enlisting help in extra security guard to monitor Jahlil Okafor

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Jahlil Okafor, Marc Gasol
Photo: AP Photo/Brandon Dill

Jahlil Okafor
Photo: David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor has been caught in the thick of many troubling off-court incidents since becoming a patron of Philadelphia, and the Sixers’ brass has devised a plan to put an end to these vexing episodes.

According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, Philly will enlist in the help of an extra security to monitor Okafor off the court, hoping to steer him away from the potential ills that can plague not only a player’s career, but life as well. 

After being involved recently in a few embarrassing and potentially dangerous off-the-court incidents, Philadelphia 76ers star rookie Jahlil Okafor will now be accompanied by a security guard whenever he goes out, according to league sources.

The request for security came from Okafor’s handlers, who asked the 76ers to make a security guard available to their first-round draft pick out of Duke. The Sixers did not return a phone call seeking comment, but two sources said the club will honor the request.

“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.”

Okafor, a 19-year-old center out of Duke whom the Sixers selected with the No. 3 overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft, was filmed last week engaging in a physical altercation with some hecklers in Boston after Philadelphia had suffered another heartbreaking defeat at the hand of the Celtics. Succeeding that news were reports of reckless driving, and an attempt to get served at a Philly tavern using a fake ID. 

While most of Okafor’s contemporaries have been the beneficiaries of some type of NBA mentoring, and it appears as if he has not been. Karl-Anthony Towns has Kevin Garnett to bark in his ear and show him the ropes. D’Angelo Russell has Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace to confide in, and Kristaps Porzingis can look to Carmelo Anthony for guidance if need be. 

The Sixers‘ barren roster composed of mostly placehoders does not have a veteran presence, unless you want to count Carl Landry, who hasn’t tallied one minute for Philadelphia so far this season. This is not an attempt to undermine Landry’s career and or his abilities, but how many guys in the Association have come up under his tutelage? If you can think of someone let me know, because I stopped pondering that one after about thirty seconds. 

Philadelphia is looking to protect their prized possession as the pressure and frustration is surely mounting. Okafor hails from the prestigious Duke University, where he captured a National Championship last season. To go from championship to league-wide fodder is tough, but Okafor has to find a better way to handle it. Apparently the Sixers have found their route, and they hope it reels Okafor in a little. 

 

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