Future franchise center Jahlil Okafor was suspended for two games by the Philadelphia 76ers because he’s been behaving like a teenager on a losing streak. And guess what Okafor is? A teenager on a losing streak. The 19-year-old Okafor, an NBA rookie, got into two altercations during a night out in Boston when he found himself being heckled. Okafor was also recently caught driving 100mph over the Ben Franklin Bridge. His coach at Duke, basketball royal Mike Krzyzewski, commented on Okafor’s troubles by cautioning people not to judge him. “Jah is one of the greatest kids ever. Ever, ever, ever, ever,” says Coach K.
There’s a simple explanation for why one of the greatest kids ever would act out. Okafor probably doesn’t feel anything like himself. The 6’11” superstar is in a very unfamiliar place — he’s losing. The 76ers are 1-19 in Okafor’s rookie campaign. That’s more basketball losses in two months than Jahlil Okafor had during his first 19 years on earth. At Duke he lost a total of four games on the way to a national championship. Okafor says he holds himself to a “higher standard” and that he’s “not proud of some of [his] decisions.” Sensible responses came back, mostly along these lines: “Your 19 years old bro we all were there. Just take these past experiences learn from them and become a better person.” Okafor is sure to follow that advice. You have to learn to be a loser too, which is hard when — like Jahlil Okafor — you’re a winner.
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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.
— Jahlil Okafor (@JahlilOkafor) November 29, 2015