Brooklyn Nets' Jahlil Okafor Is Growing More Comfortable With New Team
The 22-year-old is becoming a Barclays Center favorite and reveals plenty in a Players' Tribune feature
BROOKLYN – There’s a noticeable buzz about Jahlil Okafor at Barclays Center whenever he enters the court during Nets games.
The 22-year-old center has only played two games in Brooklyn, but he’s quickly emerging as a fan favorite. In a combined 24 minutes in front of the Nets faithful, he’s already shown glimpses of why he was selected No. 3 in the 2015 NBA draft. Against Boston, he had 12 points and five boards in 13 minutes – showing off a variety of stunning post up moves and yes, even a crossover.
Despite a tumultuous spell in Philadelphia, the future is still bright for him and Brooklyn fans believe he can reach his potential with their team.
Apparently, the feeling is mutual.
“There’s love on my end and they’ve definitely reciprocated the love on their end,” Okafor said after Monday’s shootaround. “My family sat in the stands and saw the last game – my auntie saw that and started tearing up because the fans were cheering for me.”
He added, “Having not played for a while [during his time with the Sixers] didn’t just affect me but my entire family because they are used to me being on the court.
“Just feeling the love and being back to the court I love is something that I’m extremely happy and grateful about and so is my family.”
Okafor acknowledged his confidence is growing each time he takes the floor.
"I do feel I’m [in] more of a game flow. I felt really comfortable last game, especially after getting a few easy buckets and that really got me going to where I felt comfortable," he said.
Okafor also expressed his appreciation of having a fresh start in Brooklyn in a revealing feature for The Players’ Tribune.
“When I found out that I’d been traded to Brooklyn — it was pretty much the best feeling in the world,” he wrote before later adding. “Man. Brooklyn. Clean slate. I’d been waiting so long for that moment,”
Some other notable aspects of Okafor’s feature include the heart-breaking story about how his mother passed away, his dad’s impact on his life and getting into the NBA and coping through difficult times in Philadelphia. A must-read, check it out here.