The 76ers rewarded oft-injured center Joel Embiid with a max contract extension earlier this week. Ben Simmons seems poised to be a future star and not a center for Philadelphia after he missed his entire rookie season injured last year. Croatian rookie Dario Saric rose out of nowhere last season and arguably could be the 76ers most valuable player this season.
Those pieces of The Process seem to be working. While the 76ers wait on rookie guard and No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz to fix his funky jumper, they have been about done with their biggest enigma, Jahlil Okafor, for over a year.
Marred by controversy and poor play since his 2015-16 rookie season, Okafor hasntplayed himself out of Philadelphia yet probably because he hasnt played an entire season. In two seasons in the NBA, Okafor has played just 103 games with questionable defensive efforts and a string of off-court incidents that had the 76ers shopping him at the trade deadline last season. The problem is that theres little interest in him outside of Philadelphia, either.
Okafor has played respectably this preseason, averaging 9.5 points in just over 15 minutes a night in the four games. But Okafor finally and sadly realizes hes no longer part of The Process.
Speaking to SB Nation, Okafor opened up about most of his off-court incidents, specifically his 2015brawl outside a Boston nightclub, where Okafor admitted that he got drunk following a tough loss against the Celtics.
I remember just being upset because I thought we were about to get our first win. And I just decided Im going to go out that night, Okafor said. I dont remember a lot of it, because I was really intoxicated. And me being drunk, I wasnt in my right state of mind. I remember being taunted just random stuff I would hear all the time on the court. I just reacted differently.
There are other incidents: another fight, a speeding incident and a fake ID run-in. But Okafor realized he became an outcast with his teammates, too, after Embiid posted an Instagram over the summer of the 76ers core group (Fultz, Embiid, Saric and Simmons) and dubbed them FEDS, Okafor not included.
Im unsure if Im still on the team, said Okafor, who recently started a vegan diet. Am I really a part of this process? Am I really a part of this culture? Thats why the guys have been out there on social media, but Ive just kind of been in the dark. Ill go to a Sixers event, smile, take pictures with the kids and stuff like that, but Im still thinking, Am I a part of this team?
He already knows the answer and he wants out of Philadelphia.
Sometimes I do think it would be great to get a fresh start, be on a new team, new surroundings, new teammates. I think about that often and I think thats something that could benefit me, he said.