Looking Back: Emeka Okafor added some much needed veteran leadership to a sinking franchise in Washington. He did what he always has done throughout his career, put up double-doubles. He averaged 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds a game and helped solidify the Wizards’ front court. His numbers did dip a little and that has to do with his age and his decreased minutes, but he still put together a good year. He suffered a herniated disk in his neck and is most likely going to miss a couple of months. The Wizards then traded him to the Suns for Gortat.
The Good: He has been the most consistent Alumni to come out of UConn. You can trust Okafor to give you a double-double each and every night. Not only does he have great consistency but he is also an excellent role model. He preaches hard work and is the definition of a professional. He does all the little things well like set picks, box out, battle for 50/50 balls, and play sound defense.
The Bad: He is on the downside of his career especially for a big man. The wear and tear on his body through the rigors of the long NBA schedule have taken their toll on him. He isn’t as quick nor physically dominate as he once was. He has been battling back injuries throughout his career and now has to deal with a neck injury. His role is slowly being diminished and he will soon be looking over his shoulder for the next young big man that a team with a losing record will want to evaluate.
Looking Ahead: If he can recover from this neck injury it will be another double-double season for Okafor but unfortunately it will be on a team with little to none playoff hopes. His minutes will needed to be tempered and his hopes for that elusive championship might never come, but his leadership will hopefully change the course of this a franchise that is in rebuilding mode.