Sixers arranging extra security for rookie Jahlil Okafor

Following a week in which multiple off-court incidents, including a recorded fight between Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor and a heckler, came to light, ESPN reports that the Sixers are going to provide their prized No. 3 overall pick with a security detail. The big man is getting his own body guard.

After being involved recently in a few embarrassing and potentially dangerous off-the-court incidents, Philadelphia 76ers star rookie Jahlil Okafor will now be accompanied by a security guard whenever he goes out, according to league sources.
The request for security came from Okafor's handlers, who asked the 76ers to make a security guard available to their first-round draft pick out of Duke. The Sixers did not return a phone call seeking comment, but two sources said the club will honor the request.
"A lot of teams do that for their players anyway,'' a source close to Okafor said. "So from now on, the Sixers are going to have someone at his disposal full-time.''
Source: Jahlil Okafor of Philadelphia 76ers to be accompanied by security guard.
It's a smart move on Okafor's handlers' part, seeing how the big man is attracting unwanted attention and dealing with fans who are out of line, and smart on the Sixers to both protect their prized star and protect him from himself. Okafor was also pulled over for reckless driving last month, going a reported 108 miles an hour.
Okafor's 19, dealing with a lot of pressure, a lot of stress, a tense travel schedule, and everything that comes with being a rookie. He doesn't need to worry about what's going to happen every time he goes out.
That said, it's too bad they have to hire someone. They have lots of prospects and picks. They could have just traded for Nikola Pekovic

Jahlil Okafor provided a bodyguard

Jahlil Okafor will get the team-provided protection that he needs. 76ers coach Brett Brown confirmed Tuesday that 19-year-old will be accompanied by a bodyguard whenever he goes out.
The news came days after it was revealed that Okafor had been involved in two altercations while leaving nightclubs.
The 6-foot-11, 265-pound rookie had a gun pointed at his head on Oct. 4 near Second and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia, five people told The Inquirer. The suspect got away, according to a U.S. Park Service police report. Early Thursday morning, Okafor was involved in a fight outside the Storyville Nightclub in Boston's Back Bay, caught on video hours after Wednesday night's loss to the Boston Celtics.
In an unrelated incident, Okafor also received two citations after being pulled over for driving 108 m.p.h. on the Ben Franklin Bridge. He was cited for reckless driving and driving at an excessive rate of speed on Oct. 19.


It's time for LeBron James' pregame experiment to end after that clunker of a loss

Washington Wizards
Cleveland Cavaliers
Tue Dec 1 Status: Final Attendance: 20562, Ohio – It might be time for LeBron James to cease this no-pregame-introductions experiment.
Of course, the Cavaliers' refusal (at James' apparent direction) to actually line up and come out when their names are announced before each game had nothing to do with their worst performance of the season Tuesday night, an 97-85 clunker of a loss to the Washington Wizards at The Q.
It's just, well, since the Cavs lost for the first time at home this season and for just the second in the last 31 regular-season home dates, maybe now's a good time to point that Cleveland's whole pregame routine is a little awkward.
Maybe it doesn't hurt. But it surely doesn't help.
James led the Cavs with 24 points, 13 rebounds and nine turnovers Tuesday night. Yes, he was one turnover away from a triple-double. With Cleveland trailing by 10 and trying to claw its way back, James missed reverse layups at 2:19 and 1:44 of the fourth quarter, removing any doubt.
Kevin Love suffered through his worst game this season with eight points on 2-of-10 shooting. Timofey Mozgov failed to score and was limited to nine minutes on the court. Coach David Blatt couldn't bear to watch.
Overall, the Cavs committed 19 turnovers which lead to 25 points for the Wizards. The Cavs only scored 10 off turnovers.
And, finally, the Wizards looked way faster than their counterparts, sprinting up the floor before Cleveland could get back on defense, even after a Cavs basket. John Wall exploded for 35 points.
Cleveland never led and trailed by 22 points – its worst deficit this season.
Those are the facts of the case. What do they have to do with the Cavs not taking part in the time-honored NBA production that is announcing the starting lineups? Again, nothing. Except, well, it's hard to argue that the concept works.
Not all season, but for some time now, the Cavs have huddled with Blatt while the lights are out and their names are called before games. It was James' idea, the Heat would do it every now and then during their championship runs when he was in Miami, and the idea is to cultivate a laser-sharp focus before the game starts.
But on Tuesday, the Cavs were wearing their throwback uniforms honoring the 1970s, which means the popular, 70s-clothes-wearing-Cavs video streamed over the jumbotron before the Cavs' starters were introduced.
Each player stood on the floor looking straight up, laughing at the site of James and Richard Jefferson and Kyrie Irving and the rest of them cutting a rug in their finest polyester.
What kind of focus was cultivated then, and what possibly could've been the harm had the starters, one by one, strolled out to the court when their names were called, as happens everywhere, every night in the NBA?
Last week, before a road game in Toronto, the Cavs finished with their Blatt huddle so early that they were on the court when the Raptors' dancers were still out there gyrating on Drake Night.

Wall scores 35 as Wizards hand Cavs 1st home loss, 97-85

CLEVELAND (AP) — A visit to Cleveland is rarely the solution for a struggling team's problems. John Wall and the Washington Wizards bucked that trend Tuesday night.
Wall scored a season-high 35 points and the Wizards handed the Cavaliers their first home loss of the season, 97-85.
The Wizards, who never trailed, scored the first 10 points of the game and went on a 9-0 run to begin the second half in snapping a four-game losing streak.
"They beat us from the beginning to the end," said LeBron James, who led Cleveland with 24 points. "They beat us in every facet of the game."
The Cavaliers fell to 9-1 at home, where they had won 29 of 30 dating to last season.
The Wizards seemed unlikely candidates to win in Cleveland. Wall has heard criticism for being too passive and came into the game shooting 39 percent. He did something about it Tuesday, going 14 of 24 from the field with 10 assists.
"I read everything, I hear everything that people say, because I like it," Wall said. "You've got to take the criticism if you're going to take the praise."

Cleveland coach David Blatt praised Wall's performance.
"We didn't do a very good job with him regardless of who was guarding him, let's be honest," Blatt said. "The guy had a great game."
Bradley Beal scored 18 and Marcin Gortat added 15 points with 11 rebounds for the Wizards.
"We are an unpredictable team," said Gortat, who spoke of the negative atmosphere around the club following Saturday's loss to Toronto. "Last year, we proved we could beat good teams by 20, but we can lose at Philly. We are a crazy team."
Washington went on a 15-2 run in the second quarter to break open a one-point game and led 54-43 at halftime. The Wizards scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 21-point lead.
The Wizards led 69-47 midway through the third quarter, but Matthew Dellavedova scored 10 points in the period, including three 3-pointers. Cleveland got to 78-67, but Washington answered the run and the lead remained in double figures.
Washington made five of its first six shots, prompting the Cavaliers to call timeout less than 3 minutes into the game. Cleveland tied it 14-all, but the Wizards quickly went ahead again.
The Cavaliers trailed 37-36 midway through the second quarter, but Wall scored 13 points in the period and Washington took control.
"They were quicker," James said. "They were faster to the ball, with the ball. They were a step quicker than us. They beat us pretty good."
Dellavedova finished with 15 points and J.R. Smith added 13.
Cleveland committed 19 turnovers, including a season-high nine by James, that led to 25 points for the Wizards.
Wall's shooting percentage is a career worst, as is his 16.1 point average.
"Every team is trying to make me make jump shots this year, so I was just being aggressive and getting to the basket. I got into a rhythm early and it helped us get going," he said.