HoopsHype Emeka Okafor rumors

October 7, 2013 Updates

While the Wizards continue to figure out how to carry on without him, Emeka Okafor is rehabilitating and recovering under the supervision of a cervical spine specialist in New York. Out indefinitely with a herniated disk in his neck, Okafor participated in Wizards media day festivities and the team dinner in Virginia later that evening. But the veteran big man returned to New York – where he also maintains his offseason home with his wife and newborn daughter – before the team started practicing at George Mason. Washington Post

September 18, 2013 Updates

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that center Emeka Okafor will be out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a herniated C4 cervical disc. “I have worked hard over the summer and was looking forward to the start of training camp next week, so this is a disappointing and frustrating situation for me,” said Okafor. “But I have confidence that my teammates and coaches will be able to continue to take steps towards our goal of making the playoffs and that I will be able to do my part to help them once I return.” NBA.com

July 13, 2013 Updates

Prior to the draft, Grunfeld said the Wizards might already have a player capable of being a “stretch four” already on the roster. The summer league will serve as an important time for both Vesely and Singleton to distinguish themselves as they head into possibly their final seasons in Washington. The Wizards also have the expiring contracts of Okafor ($14.5 million) and Ariza ($7.7 million) to use as trade chips for possible upgrades, as well. “We expect to have everybody back,” Grunfeld said, “but having said that, if the right opportunity comes along, it’s something that we’ll look at, but right now we expect to have everybody that we have on the roster currently, and we are having conversations as we move along like every team is.” Washington Post

June 24, 2013 Updates
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

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