Pelicans’ Jahlil Okafor has nothing but good things to say about Anthony Davis
With how messy the impending breakup has been looking lately, it’s easy to forget the type of teammate Anthony Davis is. The New Orleans Pelicans superstar always seems to be spoken about extremely positive by his teammates, and this time it’s Jahlil Okafor reminding everyone of that.
During a Q&A with William Guillory of The Athletic, Jahlil Okafor touched on the kind of teammate Davis is. The two have known each other for a while (both growing up in Chicago) and Okafor said that Davis has always reached out to him and been a “resource”.
Now that they’re on the same team, Okafor says it’s a whole new level. He points out that Davis is a “complete professional” and he “can’t put into words how much it’s benefitted me, but I’m super grateful for that.”
Okafor doesn’t stop there though, as you can tell these aren’t just words. He’s not just talking up Davis to be a good teammate. The center calls Davis the “best person in the world” and says he’ll always have his respect.
Anthony Davis will be with the New Orleans Pelicans for the rest of the season. How much he plays is a mystery. The NBA is currently forcing them to play him or risk being fined. However, an injury suffered on Thursday might make the Pelicans rethink playing him (or at least giving him major minutes).
Someone who will benefit from getting extra time, though, is Jahlil Okafor. The big man has enjoyed a major resurgence this season. After a fantastic rookie season in 2015-16, Okafor quickly dropped off. By 2017-18 he had fallen into obscurity, averaging 6.3 points and 3 rebounds per game over 28 games with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.
The Pelicans signed him to a team-friendly contract this offseason that has a club option for next year. After not playing much for the first three months of the season, things picked up in January.
Although he’s only averaging 7.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, those don’t tell the whole story.
Okafor has now played at least 23 minutes in each of his last 11 games. In those 11 games, he’s averaged 16.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. It’s also important to remember he’s only 23.
Due to that, Jahlil Okafor is starting to look like a piece the New Orleans Pelicans will not only want to keep, but someone that could want to build around.
In another world, it would be nice to see what Jahlil Okafor and Anthony Davis could do together as a monstrous front court duo for the New Orleans Pelicans. The two clearly get along and Okafor seems to have the utmost respect for Davis.
There’s a 99% chance Davis won’t be with the Pelicans by the start of next season, though, so that’s probably not happening. At least we now have concrete evidence that he’s not disrupting the locker room like some may think he is.