Jahlil Okafor’s issues played key role in Sixers’ firing of Sam Hinkie, death of The Process
Right now, New Orleans Pelicans big man Jahlil Okafor has settled in as a backup center on a promising team. Not so long ago, though, he was widely considered as a potential cornerstone after being selected third overall by the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2015. Unfortunately, things went poorly for Okafor with the Sixers.
Some of the problems Okafor faced off the court turned out to be one of the main reasons why former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie got the boot in 2016, according to an upcoming book by Bleacher Report’s Yaron Weitzman titled “Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers and the most audacious process in the history of professional sports.”
Okafor had a nice rookie campaign with the Sixers, but injuries, poor defense, and highly publicized personal issues were what ultimately led to his downfall. Then just 20 years of age, the former Duke standout reportedly had a drinking problem, and there were several notable incidents outside of bars late at night. Hinkie was blamed for his inability to take control of his player, which ultimately led to Hinkie’s eventual firing.
A flood of critical media followed, and there were signs Hinkie had lost [team co-owner Joshua] Harris’s support, too. Soon, Weitzman reports, Harris deployed one of his preferred law firms, Mintz Levin, to depose Hinkie, [head coach Brett] Brown, and three other team executives: “They were asked about protocols and systems. They were asked who knew what, and when, and what each person did with that information.”
Hinkie began his stint with the Sixers in 2013 and is widely credited for starting The Process in Philadelphia. He built the team from the ground up, taking a very deliberate and methodical approach. He was unable to see out what he started, though, as he parted ways with the franchise after just three years at the helm. Based on this narrative above, Okafor’s situation played a key role in Hinkie’s abrupt exit, which resulted in Bryan Colangelo taking over.