Jahlil Okafor was on the basketball court with his teammates Friday at the team's practice facility at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He left the floor before the media was allowed on the court and was not available for comment as he finishes the two-game suspension tomorrow when the team faces the Denver Nuggets for his off-the-court actions last week in Boston.
Brett Brown was asked about how Okafor is dealing with his suspension, which was levied before the team faces the New York Knicks on Wednesday. He gave an impassioned answer:
"I will say this. When you look at Jahlil, he most definitely is pained. He is not proud of what has come out in the national media. The people that really know Jahlil know that at his core he is a good person. When you look at his face now, when you talk about it, and I talk daily with him, and he is pained. It's just one more example of, he's pained because he cares enough, he's smart enough, he knows he messed up. We're going to help him through this. We're with him. Right now, he's probably in a personal bad spot, kind of as he should be We are with Jah. He's mine, he's ours. In a weird way I'm sort of privileged to have the responsibility to help him.
"That's not Jahlil. That isn't Jahlil. Everybody can get caught in a bad spot. All of us. And he was. He regrets it. In a strange way maybe this is a turning point for him, to get hit on such a repetitive basis that maybe it's just that much more dramatic. Maybe the point is made more violently and viciously. This is, right now, a situation that we have to talk through and help him. He will come out just fine, I'm confident of that. We're very proud to have him as one of us. We're proud to have him as a 76er."