Thabo Sefolosha has been declared out for the rest of the season after his arrest following the stabbing of fellow NBA player Chris Copeland, his girlfriend and another woman outside a New York nightclub around 4 a.m.
During the melee, Sefolosha suffered a season-ending right broken fibula and ligament damage during his arrest. The injury will require surgery and make the forward miss the postseason as well.
Sefolosha was arrested along with teammate Pero Antic when they allegedly refused to allow officers responding to the scene to set up a perimeter and were subsequently charged with obstruction.
The two plan to fight the charges.
“This is a very difficult situation for Thabo and our thoughts and support will be with him during his recovery,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said in a statement. “We know that his approach and dedication will serve him well in his rehabilitation. Our team remains focused and will be prepared as we head into the postseason.”
Sefolosha and Antic were not involved in the stabbing that sent the three victims to the hospital but were charged with three misdemeanors.
Officers allegedly asked Antic and Sefolosha to clear the area to establish a crime scene six times before they were arrested. The report states the two moved a couple feet away but did not clear the area. The report also states that Sefolosha then charged officers in an “aggressive manner.”
“When I approached the defendant to place him under arrest for the above described conduct, I observed the defendant flail his arms, twist his body, kick his legs, and struggle against me making it difficult for me to place handcuffs on him and complete the arrest. It took four officers to place the defendant in handcuffs,” wrote Police officer Johnpaul Giancona, according to the New York Times.
Safolosha is considered a valuable acquisition from the Oklahoma City Thunder, contributing 5.3 points and 4.3 rebounds off the Hawks bench.