Six days after publishing video of an apparent altercation between Jahlil Okafor and a heckler outside a Boston nightclub, TMZ on Wednesday released new footage that appears to show a second fight involving the Philadelphia 76ers' rookie center that ended with another man laid out on the concrete.
Hours after the new video was made public, the Sixers announced they had suspended Okafor for two games.
The first video, released on Thanksgiving Day, appeared appeared to depict Okafor "pushing and punching [a man] after the two men had a verbal altercation outside [Storyville Nightclub] at 90 Exeter St." in Boston, according to the Boston Globe. The encounter took place several hours after the 76ers had lost to the Boston Celtics, with the verbal sparring reportedly tied to the Sixers' winless record at that time. Boston police launched an investigation into the incident after a man claiming to be the victim in the confrontation came forward the day after TMZ published its video.
The second clip, published Wednesday morning, allegedly depicts another confrontation that took place shortly after the first, "a little further down the street." It's violent and there's some not-safe-for-work language involved, so viewer/listener discretion is advised.
In the video, you can see the 6'11" rookie trading insults with a heckler -- while people in Okafor's crew tried desperately to hold him back and walk him away from the situation.
Okafor breaks away and throws punches at the heckler ... and a melee ensues.
You can see a man gets knocked out cold in the street -- suffering gashes on his face -- but it's hard to tell who threw the punch.
A witness tells us it was Okafor who "hit the guy with a haymaker."
Boston PD is investigating the incident with officials telling us charges are likely to be filed.
After the first video surfaced, the 76ers declined official comment beyond confirming an awareness of the incident. Head coach Brett Brown termed the incident "an unfortunate thing," and said that the 19-year-old is "going to have to, like all of us, navigate through NBA worlds and NBA environments with a level of responsibility." Okafor apologized for his role in the incident, calling it "definitely dumb on my part" and "something that I am embarrassed about."
After several subsequent unflattering stories surrounding the Duke product — namely, that he'd been involved in another physical incident in Philadelphia in October in which a gun had been pulled on him, and that he'd been stopped by police for driving 108 miles per hour, a full 63 mph. over the speed limit, on the Ben Franklin Bridge in early November — Okafor offered more expansive comments on Twitter:
I hold myself to a higher standard than anyone else ever could and I'm not proud of some of my decisions over the last few months.— Jahlil Okafor (@JahlilOkafor) November 29, 2015
I own my choices both personally and now publicly. At this point I am cooperating and respecting the process I have to go through.— Jahlil Okafor (@JahlilOkafor) November 29, 2015
Going forward I don't want to be a distraction for my team and am grateful for the support and guidance those close to me are giving.— Jahlil Okafor (@JahlilOkafor) November 29, 2015
I am 100% focused on my responsibility to the League, my teammates and fans.— Jahlil Okafor (@JahlilOkafor) November 29, 2015
[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
Boston police told CBS Philly on Wednesday that that they are “aware of the video release today and encourage anyone involved to make a report so they add it to the original investigation.” BPD spokesperson Myeshia Henderson told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday that the second alleged victim hasn’t come forward.
ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reported Tuesday that Okafor "will now be accompanied by a security guard whenever he goes out." The Sixers subsequently confirmed that, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
After an NBA-record-tying 18 consecutive losses to open the 2015-16 NBA campaign, the 76ers won their first game of the season on Tuesday night, scoring a 103-91 win over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers. Okafor scored 12 points on 6-for-14 shooting with five rebounds, two assists and one block in 30 minutes of playing time. The Sixers travel to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday to play the New York Knicks in the second game of a back-to-back.
- - - - - - -