In the latest edition of Fastbreak Points, I tackle the ongoing Jahlil Okafor public relations nightmare, as well as other goodies from around the league over the past couple weeks.
JAHLIL OKAFOR IS A MENACE TO SOCIETY AND “THE PROCESS” HAS FAILED
If you’ve been paying attention to those mainstream media scolding hot takes on the Philadelphia 76ers this past week, you’re aware that their organization is actually the eighth circle of hell for NBA players. Philadelphia is a never-ending pit of despair, where players are treated like indentured servants and executives are purposefully seeking the destruction of the innocence of the game of basketball, while also plotting the most complex Ponzi scheme in sports history.
Well, maybe not THAT scolding…but pretty close to that.
If a 1-20 start didn’t garner enough attention as is, adding the Jahlil Okafor “tour of terrible decision-making” has really made this situation more unpleasant and exacerbated in Philadelphia.
The most ridiculous part of all these accounts of Okafor’s transgressions is that somehow these incidents are an indictment of “The Process” and thus gives even more opportunity for those who are against, or who fully don’t understand, to question and berate the Sixers. Maybe we should judge the Sixers based on their progress on the court (also not great), and not based on the stupid mistakes made by a 19-year-old kid adjusting to life in the NBA and being handed ultimate freedom combined with millions of dollars for the first time in his life.
It seems a little insane that the Sixers are receiving the same amount of grief about a guy drinking too many Shirley Temples as they are about Okafor getting into a street fight. The two incidents really don’t compare at all. The Sixers are so polarizing that anything semi-relevant that happens to this team will be fodder for media members to take shots at them:
One of my favorite hot takes is about the perceived significance of veteran leadership. I’ll agree that on the surface having a ton of veterans surround a young and inexperienced team could pay small dividends. But to say that the Sixers should just throw any 30-something well-traveled NBA vet to sit the bench the whole year and mentor kids, is quite ridiculous.
Just because a guy is in his 30s and has been in the league for about 10 years doesn’t make him a leader or a role model. As well, most of these types of players don’t want to play for the Sixers right now because the team is committed to giving their undrafted and second-round picks as many minutes as they need on the court in a concerted attempt to fail and hopefully one day win the lottery (figuratively and literally).
The Sixers have also gone the past few seasons with veterans on the team (Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Jason Richardson), and even then, this was still an issue that surfaced. Also, no one points out that the Sixers already employ Carl Landry, who works out and practices with the team and sits on the bench during games. Just because he doesn’t dress for action because of injury doesn’t mean he can’t have a voice in the locker room.
Okafor certainly shouldn’t be drinking and getting bounced from nightclubs. He shouldn’t be getting into street fights with idiot Boston fans. He most certainly shouldn’t be putting himself in situations where guns are being pointed at him. And he definitely should try as hard as possible to not drive over 100 mph and potentially get in an accident that could hurt him and/or others.
But this isn’t the first time we’ve ever heard of a player getting in trouble or in unflattering situations off of the court. Just a couple weeks ago, J.R. Smith was charged for getting into a fight with a Knick fan who heckled him at 4 a.m. after a game. Smith has a very checkered past, and if for some the reason Cavaliers were a losing and rebuilding team right now, this probably would’ve got more light.
Okafor is far too young to have accumulated this type of rap sheet. It’s concerning if you run the 76ers’ team security, but as a fan I’m not worried that Okafor can be a relatively behaved citizen as long as he’s in Philadelphia. But please don’t tell me “The Process” is failing because he landed on the front page of TMZ.
MORE FASTBREAK POINTS
KOBE BRYANT IS A PLAGIARIST AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE HALL OF FAME
Kobe recently published his farewell poem and ode to basketball in The Players’ Tribune, and it’s eerily similar to Michael Jordan’s farewell letter to the game from his retirement. Whether this was done intentionally or not (it was definitely intentional), how can we possibly treat Kobe the same way knowing he’s a thief of the written word?
If he’s willing to steal other people’s personal goodbyes with inanimate objects, what else is he willing to steal? What heist is next for Kobe? He seems like the perfect man to fit into Danny Ocean’s crew and we can finally get that “Ocean’s 14” sequel. It’s crazy to think that Kobe’s on-court performance this year isn’t the most offensive thing about him at the moment. Plagiarism is a serious action and one that cannot be ignored:
However, I’m willing to overlook this entire debacle because Kobe is one of the greatest players of all time and he went to Lower Merion High School (I live near there!). But at this point, I really wouldn’t put it past Michael Jordan to take legal action against Mr. Bryant. The guy sued a grocery store for $9 million dollars for using his picture in an ad six years ago…only two coupons were yielded from the advertisement. His legal team might have a field day with this one. Look out, Kobe!
JASON KIDD IS A DUMMY BUT ALSO PROBABLY THE MOST ENTERTAINING COACH IN THE LEAGUE
Maybe Jason Kidd’s latest antics didn’t top “Cup-gate,” but I kind of love how he gives zero f**** about the referees. Coaches are supposed to be the mature ones who don’t pull stunts like this one, and smacking a ball out of a refs hands is pretty childish. It’s kind of like he’s a hockey player challenging someone to a fight to fire up his team or change the momentum of the game. Or it’s possible he needed a one-game vacation away from MCW:
Jason, you’re a dummy. But please keep entertaining us like this.
WE NEED MORE THEMED NIGHTS AT ARENAS
Last week, the Toronto Raptors put on “Drake Night” for their fans at the Air Canada Centre, and it was just brilliant. I mean they had a friggin’ “Hotline Bling” booth. But it got me thinking we need more pop-culture themed nights at NBA arenas. Of course it’s nice when teams put on nights recognizing a certain heritage or veterans or any other generic theme that all teams do. But let’s get a little more creative, shall we:
Remember when the Atlanta Hawks had “Tinder Night” last season? We need more of this. Whether we do theme nights for TV shows, movies or even more dating apps and rappers, it doesn’t matter. Teams have 41 home games and there’s still an entertainment factor beyond putting on a basketball game.
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS HAS FINALLY EARNED MY RESPECT
So Kristaps Porzingis is okay at basketball…alright he may actually be really good (bitter Sixers fan). It normally takes some time for rookies to earn my respect, as I’m a hard man to win over. I don’t just haphazardly throw out recognition like this.
But I wasn’t really convinced how great Porzingis was until earlier this week, when La La Anthony gave the Latvian teenager the seal of approval with a future invitation to her dinner table. It’s one thing to earn the respect of your peers, but to earn the respect of your peers’ wives? That’s on a whole other level. If La La is down with ‘Staps, we all got to be down. The woman is a staple of reality television, so you know she keeps it real and totally unscripted…
WHO IS THE GREATEST POINT GUARD KOBE EVER PLAYED WITH?
Kobe has played with a lot great point guards over the last 20 years. In this video, he finally settles the debate of who was the greatest point guard he ever played with:
— The Evster (@Evsterrr) December 4, 2015
Come for The Evster, stay for the Metta World Peace absurd basketball analogies.