I need a center
2004-05: Rookie season
The 2004-05 NBA season
was a successful campaign as Okafor coped well with the pressures of being the star rookie on an expansion franchise. Highlights of the season included recording 19 straight double-doubles
from November 21
through January 1
, and finishing seventh among Eastern Conference
forwards in NBA All-Star Game
fan balloting with 408,082 votes, by far the highest number garnered by any rookie
in 2005. At the end of the season, Okafor beat out his friend and former college teammate and roommate, Chicago Bulls
guard Ben Gordon
, to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award
On June 24
, the Bobcats picked up the option for the fourth year on Okafor's contract, as he has quickly established himself as the face of the franchise, and a solid player for years to come. Okafor finished his rookie season with a on 44.7% field goal
percentage and per-game averages of 15.1 points, 10.9 rebounds (ranked 4th in the league
), and 1.7 blocks.
 2005-06 season
In the offseason between his rookie and second years Okafor bulked up gaining 20 pounds going from 260 to 280 lbs. It is this weight gain which he feels caused him to have trouble rehabbing his early season ankle injury and forced him to sit out most of the 2005-06 season
with injuries to his ankle.
Nonetheless in the few games he played he was effective as he averaged a double-double for the second consecutive season. For the season he finished with averages of 13.2 ppg on 41.5% shooting, 10.0 rpg., and 1.9 bpg.
 2006-07 season
Early into the 2006-07 season
, Emeka Okafor has established himself as one of the best young centers in the NBA
. During the offseason he continued his tutorials with Hakeem Olajuwon
, which he took up after his rookie season,
and lost the 20 pounds which he had gained for his second season. Okafor feels this weight loss gives him more energy and mobilily. He currently leads the Bobcats in rebounds per game, blocks per game, and field goal percentage. He also had 8 blocks in one game this season against the Dallas Mavericks. Later he would record an NBA season high 10 blocks in one game against the New York Knicks.