As a list of altercations and accusations of misconduct off the court grows, insiders report that Philadelphia 76ers rookie Jahlil Okafor will be assigned a “body guard” to help keep him out of trouble when he goes out in public.
According to ESPN, the request for the extra security came from Okafor’s handlers. The team has not commented on the story but ESPN reported that insiders confirmed that the team will honor the request.
“A lot of teams do that for their players anyway,” a source close to Okafor told ESPN. “So from now on, the Sixers are going to have someone at his disposal full time.”
The 19-year-old, No. 3 overall pick was most recently caught on video engaging in a fist fight outside a Boston nightclub. A source close to Okafor said that the fight began when someone yelled the “76ers suck” spurring the prized player to wade in swinging.
One of the participants in last week’s bar fight filed a report with the Boston Police but no charges have been filed against the player.
But the fight outside the Boston club was only the latest in a growing list of troubles for the rookie star.
In October Okafor also allegedly had a gun pointed to his head after he engaged in a verbal altercation in Philadelphia. Police reportedly stopped the third pick in NBA’s 2015 draft for driving 108 miles per hour across a bridge spanning the Delaware River between Philly and Camden, New Jersey.
Then there is the alleged fake I.D. incident that ironically occurred at the Misconduct Tavern in Philly also in October. It was reported that Okafor tried to use a fake I.D. to get served alcohol. The player and his handlers have strenuously denied this story, though.
Okafor has since apologized for his conduct on Twitter saying, “I own my choices.”
As the 0-18 76ers struggle, setting a record for consecutive losses by a team in the four major North American team sports, Okafor excels on the court. He averages 17.5 points per game and 8.2 rebounds.
Matt Moore of CBS Sports is calling the extra security a “smart move.”
“It’s a smart move on Okafor’s handlers’ part,” Moore wrote in a Tuesday column, “seeing how the big man is attracting unwanted attention and dealing with fans who are out of line, and smart on the Sixers to both protect their prized star and protect him from himself.”
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