Thabo Sefolosha

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"Sefolosha" redirects here. For the painter, who is also his mother, see Christine Sefolosha.
Thabo Sefolosha
Thabo Sefolosha Thunder.jpg
Sefolosha with the Thunder in 2011
No. 25 – Atlanta Hawks
Position Shooting guard / Small forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1984-05-02) May 2, 1984 (age 32)
Vevey, Switzerland
Nationality Swiss
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 222 lb (101 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13th overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Playing career 2001–present
Career history
2001–2002 Tege Riviera Basket (Switzerland)
2002–2005 Élan Chalon (France)
2005–2006 Angelico Biella (Italy)
20062009 Chicago Bulls
20092014 Oklahoma City Thunder
2011 Fenerbahçe Ülker (Turkey)
2014–present Atlanta Hawks
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Thabo Patrick Sefolosha (/ˈtɑːb ˌsɛfəˈlʃə/; born May 2, 1984) is a Swiss professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has also played in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder, in the Turkish Basketball League for the Fenerbahçe, in France for Élan Chalon, in Italy for Angelico Biella, and in Switzerland for Tege Riviera Basket. In 2006, he became the first player from Switzerland to play in the NBA, and in 2013, he was labelled the best Swiss basketball player of all-time by Swiss newspaper Freiburger Nachrichten.[1]

Early life[edit]

Sefolosha was born in Vevey, Switzerland to Patrick Sefolosha, a South African musician, and Christine Sefolosha (née Beck), a Swiss artist. He lived in several countries as a youth and learned to speak three languages: Italian, French and English.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Early years (2001–2006)[edit]

Sefolosha was invited to join the junior Swiss national basketball team, and at 17 he began a professional career with Tege Riviera Basket, in Switzerland's top domestic league.[2] On a team trip to France, Sefolosha was approached by a French talent scout to play with Elan Chalon in the premier pro league in France.[2]

Sefolosha spent his first year in Chalon-sur-Saône playing with the junior under-21 squad, which traveled alongside the senior club. The following year (2002–03), he earned a rotation spot on the senior club, where he played 30 games and averaged 4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1 assist per game.[2]

The following season, Sefolosha earned a starting spot on the senior team, which he helped lead to a third-place finish in the French league, where his team advanced to the playoffs semifinals. During the season he averaged 9.4 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 steal in 30.7 minutes per game.[2]

Before the start of his fourth season with Elan Chalon, a contract dispute between Sefolosha and the team arose. Sefolosha's agent and the team president could not reach an agreement on a new contract, so Sefolosha signed with Italian team Angelico Biella. "Last summer, I had the chance to re-negotiate my contract with the club. We were supposed to reach an agreement, but when my agent and the president started talking, they couldn't agree on a contract. They wanted to keep me, but at the same time I had this offer from Italy. That's when I decided that the best thing for my career was to play in Biella. Yes, there was a little bit of trouble, but in the end it was OK."[3]

Chicago Bulls (2006–2009)[edit]

Sefolosha was taken with the 13th pick of the 2006 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and promptly traded to the Chicago Bulls for the 16th pick (Rodney Carney), and cash considerations.[4] In an article on Bulls.com, Sefolosha was quoted saying "I was certainly surprised (at the draft) when someone came up and said that I was the next to be picked. I thought maybe he had made a mistake or something. But a few minutes later he came back and told me that not only was I going to be picked, but that I was going to be traded to Chicago, which really got me excited."[2]

Former Bulls head coach Scott Skiles cited Sefolosha's wingspan and past pro basketball experience as reasons why the Bulls were interested in him. "Thabo's got great physical gifts that, frankly, a lot of guys in the league just don't have. He's got tremendous length and has really quick hands, he grabs your attention whenever you watch him play. It's easy to see that he knows what he's doing out there. You can tell he likes to play defense, too. He's eager to get after it."[2]

After the NBA summer leagues finished, ESPN asked several NBA talent scouts and executives to rank the summer league players and Sefolosha scored high. "He excelled at just about everything," reported one of the professionals. "Thabo Sefolosha showed that he's going to be able to step in right away and contribute to the Bulls."[2]

Oklahoma City Thunder (2009–2014)[edit]

On February 19, 2009, the trade deadline, Sefolosha was traded by the Bulls to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Denver's 2009 first-round draft pick, which Chicago used to draft Taj Gibson.[5] Sefolosha was selected to the All-NBA Defensive Second Team for the 2009–10 NBA season.

In October 2011, during the 2011 NBA lockout, Sefolosha signed with Fenerbahçe Ülker in Turkey, but only for Euroleague matches. His deal had an out-clause that allowed him to return to Oklahoma City at the end of the lockout.[6] He played 7 matches with Fenerbahçe Ülker during the 2011–12 Euroleague season.

In 2012, Sefolosha and the Thunder reached the NBA Finals, but were defeated by the Miami Heat.

Atlanta Hawks (2014–present)[edit]

Sefolosha defending LeBron James.

On July 15, 2014, Sefolosha was acquired by the Atlanta Hawks in a sign-and-trade deal, along with rights to Giorgos Printezis, in exchange for the rights to Sofoklis Schortsanitis.[7] On January 31, 2015, he was ruled out for six to eight weeks with a strained right calf.[8] On April 9, he was ruled out for the rest of the season due to a fractured tibia suffered while being arrested by members of the New York City Police Department.[9]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: The Euroleague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

NBA[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006–07 Chicago 71 4 12.2 .426 .357 .511 2.2 .8 .5 .2 3.6
2007–08 Chicago 69 22 20.8 .428 .330 .721 3.7 1.9 .9 .4 6.7
2008–09 Chicago 43 14 17.1 .434 .300 .840 2.9 1.5 .8 .4 4.5
2008–09 Oklahoma City 23 22 31.1 .417 .243 .833 5.2 2.0 1.7 1.1 8.5
2009–10 Oklahoma City 82 82 28.6 .440 .313 .674 4.7 1.8 1.2 .6 6.0
2010–11 Oklahoma City 79 79 25.9 .471 .275 .747 4.4 1.4 1.2 .5 5.1
2011–12 Oklahoma City 42 42 21.8 .432 .437 .884 3.0 1.1 .9 .4 4.8
2012–13 Oklahoma City 81 81 27.5 .481 .419 .826 3.9 1.5 1.3 .5 7.6
2013–14 Oklahoma City 61 61 26.0 .415 .316 .768 3.6 1.5 1.3 .3 6.3
2014–15 Atlanta 52 7 18.8 .418 .321 .776 4.3 1.4 1.0 .4 5.3
2015–16 Atlanta 75 11 23.4 .507 .341 .776 4.5 1.4 1.1 .5 6.4
Career 678 425 23.4 .447 .347 .732 3.8 1.5 1.1 .5 5.8

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2007 Chicago 9 0 11.0 .385 .375 .583 1.9 .8 .2 .0 3.3
2010 Oklahoma City 6 6 21.2 .296 .231 .889 3.0 1.2 .8 1.0 4.5
2011 Oklahoma City 17 17 20.2 .463 .154 1.000 3.1 .7 .9 .3 4.6
2012 Oklahoma City 20 20 22.3 .402 .327 .889 2.7 1.3 1.5 .5 5.3
2013 Oklahoma City 11 11 27.3 .344 .316 .818 4.5 2.1 1.1 .5 5.7
2014 Oklahoma City 13 13 17.5 .415 .261 .800 2.1 .7 .8 .0 4.2
2016 Atlanta 10 2 20.3 .478 .368 .533 4.1 1.7 1.0 .6 5.9
Career 88 69 19.9 .406 .290 .770 2.3 1.2 1.2 .4 4.8

Euroleague[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2011–12 Fenerbahçe 7 6 26.9 .529 .500 .633 6.0 .9 2.1 .4 11.4 14.3
Career 7 6 26.9 .529 .500 .633 6.0 .9 2.1 .4 11.4 14.3

Personal life[edit]

On April 8, 2015, Sefolosha and teammate Pero Antić were arrested outside a nightclub in New York City for allegedly interfering with police after Chris Copeland of the Indiana Pacers was stabbed in the abdomen following an argument.[10] While arresting him, the officers broke his right leg, shutting him down for the rest of the season.[11] He underwent surgery on April 16, to repair a fractured tibia and ligament damage.[12]

On September 9, 2015, Sefolosha refused a no-plea bargain the prosecutor had offered him, and said that he wanted to let the case proceed to trial instead; at the same time, charges against Antić were dropped.[13] Sefolosha's court hearing was set on October 5, 2015.[14] On October 9, a Manhattan jury found him not guilty of all three misdemeanor charges: obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.[15] On October 21, 2015, Sefolosha announced he would be suing the city of New York as well as eight police officers for up to $50 million in damages.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Der neue Nati-Trainer Petar Aleksic soll das Unmögliche möglich machen (German)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Thabo Sefolosha: Coming to America." NBA: September 14, 2006.
  3. ^ HoopsHype interview with Sefolosha URL last accessed September 27, 2006
  4. ^ ESPN article on the 2006 NBA Draft URL last accessed September 27, 2006
  5. ^ "Thunder Acquires Thabo Sefolosha". NBA.com. February 19, 2009. Retrieved March 9, 2013. 
  6. ^ Oklahoma City's Sefolosha signs with Turkish club
  7. ^ "Hawks Acquire Thabo Sefolosha in Sign-And-Trade Transaction". Atlanta Hawks. Retrieved April 8, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Thabo Sefolosha Expected To Miss 6-8 Weeks". Atlanta Hawks. Retrieved April 8, 2015. 
  9. ^ Dwyer, Kelly (April 9, 2015). "Thabo Sefolosha out for season following an altercation with police". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  10. ^ Parascandola, Rocco (April 8, 2015). "Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland stabbed at 1 OAK club; two Atlanta Hawks arrested in aftermath: NYPD sources". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 8, 2015. 
  11. ^ Arnovitz, Kevin (10 April 2015). "Hawks' Thabo Sefolosha has broken leg, out for season". espn.go.com. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Hawks' Sefolosha undergoes surgery for injured right leg". NBA.com. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Thabo Sefolosha, Atlanta Hawks Player, Spurns Lenient Plea Bargain". 
  14. ^ Buhler, John (9 September 2015). "Thabo Sefolosha's Court Date Set, Antic's Charges Dropped". atlallday.com. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  15. ^ "Hawks' Thabo Sefolosha found not guilty in NYC arrest case". espn.go.com. Associated Press. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Rosenberg, Rebecca; Marsh, Julia (October 21, 2015). "NBAer who beat charges in melee outside club to sue NYC for up to $50M". NYPost.com. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 

External links[edit]