76ers' Brett Brown says he won't play Jahlil Okafor in garbage time 'out of respect'
Okafor has played just 25 minutes this season for the 76ers
Jahlil Okafor is likely not going to get on the floor again until he gets out of Philadelphia.
The 76ers' third-year big man has played just 25 minutes this season, with 22 of them coming in the team's third game, and only because they were without Joel Embiid. Even in garbage time, head coach Brett Brown won't put Okafor in the game. He says, however, that he's doing that out of respect. Via the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"To just hoist somebody a little tiny window of minutes isn't something that interests me," Brown said after the 101-81 win against Portland. "I say that out of respect to [Okafor]. I don't think that puts him in a position that I want to put him in."
Brown was speaking on the subject because of the Sixers crowd's chants of "We want Okafor!" late in Wednesday's 20-point win over the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.
Even Embiid was getting in on the chants, hyping the crowd up.
Okafor has requested a buyout from the Sixers, and recently his father even wore a shirt that said "Free Jah" to the Sixers' game against the Warriors. From Embiid encouraging the fans' chant, and other players taking to social media to support Okafor, it seems most everyone in the league is hopeful the young big man will soon get a chance to play.
However, Brown is doing the right thing by not throwing him out there for garbage time. Of course Okafor wants to get on the court, but not for a few meaningless minutes here and there. Having to jump into the last few minutes of a blowout after not playing for a week or so is more humiliating than just not playing at all.
Hopefully, the Sixers will be able to figure something out soon -- whether through a trade or a buyout -- that gets Okafor into a better situation where he's given a chance to get on the court.
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