Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha says police incident damaged his reputation

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Thabo Sefolosha was supposed to provide elite defense and three-point shooting off the bench for the top-seeded Hawks during their run through the postseason, but a late-night incident with police in New York city put an end to all that before the playoffs got started.

Sefolosha was ruled out for the season after suffering a leg fracture while in police custody, and said in no uncertain terms that his injury was caused by the police.

Now that Atlanta has been eliminated from playoff contention, Sefolosha went into a little more detail about what he’s been going through since the unfortunate encounter took place.

From Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com:

“I was injured in the hands of the police, and it took away a lot from my everyday life,” Sefolosha said during an interview at his home. “From being able to help put the kids in bed, going up and down the stairs.

“We are talking about the stress that it has brought to the entire family, you know, my mom and dad in Switzerland, my brothers and sisters, my wife. Also, the damage to my reputation. I’ve had people texting me about what they saw in the newspaper and things like this. Every aspect of my life was affected by something like this, and I think putting light on the aftermath of something like this, I think that’s also something that’s important.”

There’s more that Sefolosha shared, including (needlessly) defending himself for being out so late when the incident took place.

It’s honestly shocking that this wasn’t a much bigger national news story that carried with it an extended shelf life. While not a household name, Sefolosha was a key reserve on the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference. Imagine, for example, if a role player for the Warriors or Cavaliers suffered a comparable fate — with all the attention surrounding Stephen Curry and LeBron James, it’s hard to believe a scenario like this involving one of their teammates would be similarly swept under the rug.