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Jahlil Okafor excited about fresh start with Nets

first_imgRussell also had problems on and off the court with the team that drafted him. He was criticized for recording a video of former Lakers teammate Nick Young that aired sordid details about Young’s private life. The Lakers gave up on Russell and drafted Lonzo Ball as his replacement.“I feel like we’re similar in that we have a lot to prove,” Okafor said. “I know he’s working his (butt) off as well. Right now he’s rehabbing, trying to get back on the court. I think we both have a chip on our shoulder and we have a lot to prove. We’re definitely similar in that regard.”Okafor understands he has areas to improve, mainly defense and rebounding.“I’m not a perfect player,” Okafor said. “I’m 21. There are things that I need to work on, that I have worked on and that I’ll continue to work on.”He’s excited about fulfilling his potential with a new team.“I feel really motivated right now, but I’ve always been motivated,” Okafor said. “This is the first time where people are against me in a sense because I’ve always been the hyped-up guy. It’s something new for me to experience, so I’m glad that I am experiencing it.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Then things changed drastically.Okafor struggled with injuries and a logjam at his position in his second season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBrian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense“When I first got drafted there, we already had Nerlens (Noel) there, Joel (Embiid) was there, so we’re trying to have three starting centers on the same team,” Okafor said Monday at his introductory news conference with his new team, the Brooklyn Nets.“It just never really was the right fit.” FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2016, file photo, Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) drives to the basket as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City. A person familiar with the deal says 76ers are set to trade beleaguered center Okafor to the Brooklyn Nets. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)NEW YORK — Jahlil Okafor finally got the fresh start he wanted.Okafor was the consensus No. 1 high school player in his class, won a national championship at Duke, and averaged 17.5 points and seven rebounds in his rookie campaign for the Philadelphia 76ers.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny View comments Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set NBA: Irving out of Celtics-Bulls clash OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The 76ers traded Okafor along with seldom-used guard Nik Stauskas and two draft picks to the Nets on Thursday. Philadelphia got forward Trevor Booker from Brooklyn.Okafor also had off-court problems during his time in Philadelphia. He got a speeding ticket for driving 108 miles per hour and was suspended by the 76ers for two games after in an altercation outside of a Boston nightclub with a heckler.“Speeding obviously is illegal,” Okafor said. “I know that’s not what you’re supposed to do. I guess you just learn how the page can turn on you and how everything can flip. I can’t really say I learned anything, because you know going in that’s not right. You just learn from your mistakes, but (it was) a tough thing that I went through, I got past, and I’m looking to better times now.”Okafor, the third overall pick in the 2015 draft, joins D’Angelo Russell, the second overall pick in the same draft class, on the Nets.“We’re just very excited to get on the court together,” Okafor said. “You never would’ve thought the number two and number three picks would be playing on the same team a few years after, but like I said, everything happens for a reason and I’m really excited.”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img

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