While the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors battle it out on the NBA’s biggest stage, the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, and New York Knicks have problems of their own to worry about.
The worst four teams in the NBA from this past season hold the top four picks in the 2015 NBA Draft in said order, and now the question becomes which of these rookies is good enough to chance the face of the franchise. Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell, and even Justice Winslow all fit the bill; but each team can only pick one.
Well, Duke superstar Jahlil Okafor seems to think that he would fit right in with the Los Angeles Lakers. Apparently walking in the footsteps of the league’s best big men—including Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar—doesn’t scare Okafor one bit:
“They were all about winning, and when they came [to Los Angeles], they won,” said Okafor when asked about the pressure to win as a dominate center in yellow and purple. “I’ll have some big shoes to step into, but I’m ready.”
Those shoes will be a little bigger than usual this year as the Lakers are coming off their worst season in franchise history in which they finished with a dismal 21-61 record. Do you really think you’re good enough to turn this group into a winner again?
“Not by myself, not on this level, not coming right in,” replied Okafor when he received a similar question. “That’s why we have Kobe Bryant here.”
I’m sure a soon-to-be-37-years-old Kobe loved hearing that from an up-and-coming star rookie that may be sharing a locker room with him next season. At least he won’t have to run another big man out of Los Angeles.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to select Karl-Anthony Towns out of Kentucky with the 1st overall selection, which means Okafor just may have his wish granted when the Lakers are on the clock at No. 2 overall.
It would be hard for the Lakers to pass up such a dominate scoring threat—especially when that player is already saying “we” in reference to the city and team.