Should We Expect Okafor To Be Quiet With Media?


Major league athletes and the media don’t always get along. Although often included in their contracts, and considered part of their jobs, athletes often see speaking to the media as one of the most tedious, pointless, and grueling tasks they have to go through. Especially after they’ve left all of their emotion on the floor, and leave at the end of the fourth quarter exhausted.

Though it’s a completely different sport altogether, Marshawn Lynch is the prime example of pro athletes not wanting anything to do with the media. He’s been fined for skipping his media sessions, as well as being completely unresponsive during the ones he does go to.

The Philadelphia 76ers are a team heavily covered by the media, especially as they attempt to rebuild their team in a slightly unconventional manner. Luckily for most players, most of the attention surrounds head coach Brett Brown and general manager Sam Hinkie.

That being said, one player will get grilled this season, Jahlil Okafor. Okafor was a first round pick, a top three pick, and was tossed around as a name for the first overall pick. So, it’s should come as no surprise when reporters tend to flock to Okafor the most this offseason.

We really have yet to see Okafor open in front of reporters this offseason. We caught a glimpse of him answering some questions in his debut press conference, and there was a theme to his answers, and that theme was a very non-revealing attitude.

Even as a Duke Blue Devil, he wasn’t too revealing, and wasn’t known for being all that vocal in his post game interviews.

This interview was wordy for Jahlil. Even so, I expected more from him, some more excitement, given that he had just contribute to a national title.

Take his teammate, Grayson Allen, for example who starts this interview with a huge smile on his face, and carries some excitement in his voice all throughout. Talking to the media doesn’t seem like such a chore to him, since he wasn’t a big name player like Okafor throughout the year. Allen only averaged 4.4 points per game during the regular season, and really didn’t do anything noteworthy until the Final Four, where he had nine points, and the title game where he put up 16.

I’m not saying Okafor’s interactions with the media are wrong at all. I understand, speaking to the media can be tedious, and you do have to dance around some questions and be extremely careful with what you say, otherwise the media may turn the statement it into something it’s not.

With this in the back of Okafor’s mind, it’s likely that this is the basis of his “short,” answers. I wouldn’t be surprised if Okafor does in fact have more to say, he simply doesn’t feel he can say it comfortably with the media.

It doesn’t help that fans and media go crazy over simple things like him dropping a Sixers jersey when he was first introduced. This video seems to explain the hype (and even add to it) pretty well.

SBNation noticeably removed their article titled, “Jahlil Okafor drops his Sixers jersey like its trash,” possibly because of slack they caught for stirring up this story. CSNPhilly called SBNation out on the fiasco, and provided better angles showing Okafor actually set the jersey down, didn’t drop it.

Subsequently, this could have been why SBNation deleted the post. This drama is besides the point. The point is that Okafor has already dealt with media troubles, and is likely leery to give reporters anything to run with. This wasn’t a great start with media and Okafor in Philadelphia, but it’s one of the expected parts of the NBA.

With the problems he’s had, should we expect him to be overall fairly quiet this year? I would say that’s a decent assumption. We might get a line from him once in a while, but overall, I think he’s going to try and give ‘textbook answers’ that don’t reveal too much about the young center.

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