Jahlil Okafor says quote about 76ers coaches was taken out of context


Brooklyn next big man Jahil Okafor has played just one game with his new team, but on his way out of Philadelphia he did have some interesting comments about the coaching staff and situation when he left the Sixers.

Speaking to the New York Post, Okafor said that he was happy to be with the Brooklyn Nets and with a coaching staff that was working with him. Okafor mentioned that while he was in Philadelphia, it often seemed like he was working out alone and not involved with the team.

Here is the quote from Okafor, which we here at NBC Sports ran earlier in the day on Tuesday.

Via the New York Post:

“That’s why I’m happy I’m here with the actual NBA coaching staff that’s taking care of me every day. When I was in Philly I was figuring it out on my own. I had my own trainer [Rick Lewis] that I’ve been working with since eighth grade working me out. But it’s a different level when you’re actually working with an NBA staff.”

Of course, many outlets took this quote and ran stories on it on Tuesday, which apparently was not to the satisfaction of Okafor.

Thanks to a screenshot from Jared Weiss, we got to see Okafor’s reaction via Instagram story.

Are folks taking that quote out of context? Did the New York Post take that quote out of context? I’m not so sure.

It seems to me that many seem to be reading the quote wrong, if we are to believe Okafor, especially in terms of inflection. How it could be read it is how Okafor seems to be saying he meant it: he’s happy to be working with an actual NBA staff rather than just his personal trainer.

How Okafor seems to think many have interpreted it — including the New York Post — was that he was saying Philadelphia had a low-grade, neglectful staff, and Brooklyn’s is an attentive, high-quality staff.

Inflection is hard to interpret through text sometimes — anyone who has sent an office e-mail can attest to that — but I’m not sure there’s any other context to give here. It’s really more about whether you believe Okafor that his intended meaning was different than how the New York Post seemed to portray it.

Indeed, the quotes themselves could be interpreted both ways and neither would be surprising given the stagnant relationship between Okafor and the Sixers.