Thabo Sefolosha of the Atlanta Hawks suffered a season-ending injury last week, during an incident with police that resulted in his arrest.
While Sefolosha wouldn’t get into the specifics of what occurred, he did say that the injury was one that was caused by police in a statement issued by the team on Tuesday.
“I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to my family and friends, the Hawks organization and my teammates. This has been a difficult time for me and I truly appreciate the support I have received from everyone. I am extremely disappointed that I will not be able to join my teammates on the court during the playoffs and apologize to them for any distraction this incident has caused. I will be cheering for them every step of the way and will be diligent in my rehabilitation.
“On advice of counsel, I hope you can appreciate that I cannot discuss the facts of the case. Those questions will be answered by my attorney in a court of law. I will simply say that I am in great pain, have experienced a significant injury and that the injury was caused by the police.”
While the union for the players is investigating the incident, it’s gone away relatively quietly, all things considered. Imagine if a player like Stephen Curry or LeBron James, for example, had their season similarly ended during an incident with law enforcement — the discussion would be endless, and would never leave the news cycle.
The Internal Affairs bureau of the NYPD is reportedly interested in interviewing Sefolosha “as a complaining witness,” according to ESPN.com. That may be the next step in the process, but it’s unlikely to be the final one when there are criminal and civil matters that will eventually need to be sorted out.
The top-seeded Hawks will open the playoffs at home this weekend, most likely against either the Indiana Pacers or the Brooklyn Nets.