Okafor excited about coming to playoff-caliber team

Saturday, October 3, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Emeka Okafor was recently asked to name the most memorable moment he’s experienced in his five-year NBA career. After a puzzled look came across the 6-foot-10, 255-pound center’s face, Okafor said, “You know what? It hasn’t happened yet. I think that’s still to come for me.”

The 26-year-old, who is currently limited by a sprained toe on his right foot, hopes to see something memorable happen for him next spring, in the form of a playoff debut. Despite putting up solid individual statistics – he’s one of three players to average a double-double in each of the past five seasons – Okafor has become a somewhat forgotten man among casual NBA fans. With Charlotte yet to reach the postseason over its five years of existence, Bobcats players have tended to toil in relative obscurity.

Due to Charlotte’s lack of team success, 2009-10 will mark the first time in Okafor’s career that he’s begun a season on a team predicted to make the playoffs. The former UConn standout is thrilled by that prospect.

“Playoffs, baby,” he said, when asked what aspect of coming to the Hornets was most attractive to him. “The playoffs are where players are made. To win a championship, you have to be in the playoffs. It feels very good to be on a team like this.

“I’m excited about playing with one of the best point guards and best players in the league in Chris Paul. David West is a great power forward. Peja is an excellent shooter. I’m very much looking forward to playing here.”