Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Philadelphia 76ers rookie Jahlil Okafor had a gun pointed at him during an altercation in Philadelphia with two unidentified men in early October, according to a report from CSNPhilly.com.
Okafor was outside of a Philadelphia night club during the early hours of Oct. 4 when he and another man got into a verbal dispute with two men sitting in a parked car, a witness told the site. One of the men in the car later pointed a gun in Okafor’s direction.
“I’m not allowed to talk about that incident,” Okafor told CSNPhilly.com after the Sixers’ lost to the Rockets Friday night, 116-114, to fall to 0-17 on the season. “There is a process going on and I’m not allowed to talk about it. I’m sorry.”
The Sixers issued this statement: “We are aware that there is an ongoing investigation regarding the alleged incident and are unable to comment further.”
Earlier Friday, Okafor called his actions in a separate incident Wednesday night “dumb” and “embarrassing.”
The 6-foot-11 Okafor was involved in a street fight in Boston following an 84-80 loss to the Celtics, according to a video obtained and released by TMZ that is at the bottom of this post. Okafor verbally sparred with a man who taunted him and then appeared to punch another man.
“It was definitely dumb on my part,” Okafor told the Philadelphia Inquirer Friday in Houston, where the Sixers play the Rockets. “It’s something that I am embarrassed about.”
Okafor added that he was “still dealing with the league and the team. But I’m not happy about it at all. But we are still going through the process of what we are going to do.”
The Boston police are now investigating the fight, according to reports.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman quoted a source close to Okafor on what led to the altercation.
“Apparently, they said: ‘The 76ers suck and you guys are all losers. You’ll never win a game,” the source said. “I was around the corner when it happened. I saw him a minute after he knocked the dude out,” the source said. “I think the guy was just talking s—. Saying the Sixers suck.”
According to TMZ, Okafor responded by saying, “We got money you broke-ass n**ga.”
The Sixers released a statement Thursday.
“We are aware of the report and we are currently working to gather additional information,” the team said. “Until that time, we will have no further comment.”
The Sixers have lost an NBA record 27 straight games dating to last season when Okafor was winning an NCAA championship in his only season at Duke.
“We are all staying together, working extremely hard,” Okafor told the Inquirer before the Houton loss. “We are coming in every day at shootaround, and we keep coming up a little short. We get close.
“So it does get a little frustrating to hear it all the time that we are 0-and-whatever. So it’s definitely frustrating.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.