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What is the #FreeJah Movement and how did it work?

Issa movement.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jahlil Okafor has finally been traded away from the 76ers after the relationship between the two soured almost immediately after the former Blue Devil was drafted by Philadelphia.

Okafor never quite fit into the organization’s scope. He was drafted onto a team that already had Joel Embiid in place as its star and Nerlens Noel as his placeholder. It was never going to work.

At the beginning of the season, it was reported that the 76ers wouldn’t pick up Okafor’s option, and as time passed, the DNP-CDs kept stacking. It became clear that Okafor was only outside of the rotation for good.

It’s not unusual to see a 21-year-old not getting as much playing time as he wants, but it is rare to see the third overall pick from 2015 being snubbed in the rotation for Amir Johnson.

Players around the league took notice, and they weren’t OK with that. And that’s when the #FreeJah movement began.

Nov. 1: Okafor asks for a buyout or a trade from the 76ers after they don’t pick up his option

During media availability with the team, Okafor told reporters he didn’t mind that the 76ers didn’t pick up his option. “I was fine with that,” he said. He wanted a buyout, preferably, so he could pick his destination. But, according to Okafor, 76ers team president Bryan Colangelo said that wouldn’t be an option for the 76ers:

In the meantime, until the team found the right trade partner, Okafor wouldn’t see the floor. And that fired up players around the NBA.

Nov. 2: Isaiah Thomas was fed up

Thomas was fed up with the 76ers’ treatment of Okafor and took to Twitter to voice his displeasure:

The Cavaliers’ All-Star point guard isn’t one known to hold his tongue, but this tweet was the first explicit indicator this season from an NBA player that Okafor was being treated unfairly.

Sure, this is just one tweet. But it grew into so much more.

Nov. 2: Jared Dudley follows up

Just a few hours later, Dudley let us know he agreed with Thomas:

And he took it a step further. Not only did he voice his displeasure with the situation, but he implicitly called the 76ers organization unprofessional while disparaging them.

What Dudley is saying here is that when organizations act professional, players take notice. And they do the same when they don’t. Here, Dudley is implying, the 76ers are on the wrong side of history.

Nov. 18: Okafor’s dad wears a “FreeJah” shirt to the game

Okafor’s dad, Chukwudi Okafor, has always had his son’s back, so much so that he was ready to fight for him over a simple Twitter joke. That didn’t stop just because his son wasn’t playing.

Parents can’t do anything about coaching and personnel decisions. But wearing a shirt putting everyone on notice might help. Okafor’s dad did that during the 76ers game against the Warriors:

Nov. 18: Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Draymond are with the movement:

Three of the best players in the league are down. That’s not bad company to keep, if you ask me.

Nov. 27: Devin Booker wants to #FreeJah too:

Two words were more than enough for Booker to show his support for one of his 2015 draft class peers.

Nov. 27: Jayson Tatum agreed:

Not even an hour went by without Tatum chiming in. This was serious.

Dec. 7: Jah is free

It’s over.

And people are happy!

The movement is done. It worked. Gone are the days of #FreeJah. Okafor has the chance he’s been looking for now.

Whether Okafor will actually be good in a new role with the Nets remains to be seen, but for many people, that didn’t matter. It was about a young player getting an opportunity to grow, and now it seems he’ll have that.