HoopsHype Emeka Okafor rumors

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June 9, 2013 Updates
May 10, 2013 Updates

Wizards big man Emeka Okafor has his first child due at the end of this month, and he spoke recently about impending fatherhood. “The whole process is a bit unnerving to me,” Okafor said at the time. “Just thinking about the actual birthing process. I’m also not looking forward to losing sleep. I hear the first six months can be a little bit rough.” Washington Post

April 30, 2013 Updates

The Washington Wizards' Emeka Okafor had no idea that the phone call he took from a teammate Monday morning would include a heads-up on news that would forever change sports. Okafor was one of the select people Jason Collins gave advance notice that he was telling the world he was gay in a first-person article posted on Sports Illustrated's website. Collins' announcement made him the first active player in one of the U.S.'s four major pro sports leagues to come out. Okafor said Collins was "calm, collected and cool" during their conversation. "I'm happy for him and I congratulated him," Okafor told Yahoo! Sports on Monday. "While it's a great thing, it's tough not knowing how it will be perceived. Whenever you're the first there is always that uncertainty. "He called me right before the article came out and told me. But before that I didn't know. … I told him that I thought it was a very brave thing that he's doing." Yahoo! Sports

"For a gay athlete to come out and announce that he's gay is a huge deal," Okafor said. "The majority of us don't have that pressure or are harboring a secret that others might look down upon. We don't have to put on an act and pretend like we are the same as the next person when we're different. You may be punished because of that difference. The effort of him coming out and being the first one, I think it is [noteworthy]. Should it be a big deal? That's a bigger question that goes into the times we are in. Yahoo! Sports

April 29, 2013 Updates
April 18, 2013 Updates
April 17, 2013 Updates

Emeka Okafor’s wife, Ilana, is due to give birth to the couple’s first child at the end of May, and the new father is finding it a little intimidating. Okafor sat down to dinner with Phil Chenier, and Wizards Magazine was there to document the chat about fatherhood. “The whole process is a bit unnerving to me,” Okafor said. “Just thinking about the actual birthing process. I’m also not looking forward to losing sleep. I hear the first six months can be a little bit rough.” Washington Post

April 5, 2013 Updates

The Wizards fully expected that Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza would be under contract through the 2013-14 season when they acquired them last June from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Rashard Lewis’s expiring contract. Okafor and Ariza have early-termination options in their contracts for next season, but both confirmed this week their intentions to finish out their respective deals. “I don’t know many people who are going to leave money on the table and I’m not one of the people to do that, so most likely,” said Ariza, who is slated to earn $7.7 million next season. Washington Post

April 1, 2013 Updates

He won't command anywhere near that in the open market, but he contends that his reasons go beyond dollars and cents. The Wizards (27-46) have shown promise even though they’re just 10th in the Eastern Conference entering Monday. “My plan is to be here next year,” Okafor said Sunday after contributing 19 points and 10 rebounds in a 109-92 win vs. the Toronto Raptors. “My mind-set is to be here next year. I just think that this team has a lot of potential. If we had everybody healthy, it would be a different around here. We’d be playing for (playoff) position.” CSNWashington.com

Unfortunately, the Wizards’ performance against lower rung teams with hasn't gotten better. They lost to the league’s two worst teams, the Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando Magic, recently. They've also dropped games to the Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons twice each, the Cleveland Cavaliers without Kyrie Irving and the Philadelphia 76ers among others. “I've thought about it every which way,” Okafor said of the what-if scenarios. “Part of it is being a young team learning how to take advantage of situations. Next year, I don’t see that happening as much. If everybody was healthy at the start, we’d be at a different point right now.” CSNWashington.com

January 19, 2013 Updates
January 13, 2013 Updates
November 29, 2012 Updates

“Needed to get that first one. Starting to forget what it felt like,” Okafor said with a laugh after scoring six points with eight rebounds. “I think getting that first victory and things will start to steamroll. We’ve gotten close several times and I think now that we’ve actually won whatever oppressive force that has kept us from winning has been lifted and it’ll start to come a little bit easier.” Washington Post

November 26, 2012 Updates

Ariza and Okafor account for one-third of a $66 million payroll, the 19th highest in the league. But Coach Randy Wittman has already benched the duo in favor of less-seasoned players at the start of games, and they are often not on the floor with the outcome of the games in doubt. “It’s tough,” Okafor said, as the Wizards prepare to host the San Antonio Spurs on Monday at Verizon Center. “I’m a competitor, but right now, we’re just trying to get wins and when you’re 0-11, you try to find a way. So I’ve always been a team player and I’m going to do what I can do.” Washington Post

November 20, 2012 Updates
October 26, 2012 Updates

In the offseason, Okafor visited the Vatican, sampled restaurants in Italy personally recommended by his pal Mario Batali, stopped by the Great Wall of China and was amazed by the architecture in Shanghai. “He’s someone you can talk to about anything,” said Ed Tapscott, the Wizards’ director of player programs and the former president of the Charlotte Bobcats, the team that made Okafor the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. Washington Post

“He’s not pretending to be something that he’s not,” Ariza said. “That’s very admirable, especially in what we do. We have a lot of followers in our game. Everybody wants to pretend they’re something else. Mek is who he is, and he’s proud of it.” Some of those differences were on display this week. As the preseason winds down, the team scheduled events away from the court to introduce this year’s squad to its fans. First up was a charitable luncheon in which players and staff served as waiters for about 100 combat veterans, other members of the armed forces and their families. Washington Post

October 23, 2012 Updates

Emeka Okafor, to the delight of employees and teammates, was deemed too tall to go on the Superman: Ride of Steel. Which really sucks, because the coaster is totally awesome. The 6-10 Okafor is going to have to content himself with the Coyote Creek Crazy Cars, which are fun for all ages, which means "fun for no one." This world wasn't made for tall people. Deadspin.com

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