Sebastian Telfair was once on the cover of Slam Magazine with LeBron James being heralded as one of the future superstars of the NBA. My, how far we have come.
On Monday, the former 13th overall pick in the 2004 draft was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison for possession of a loaded firearm. In 2017 Telfair was pulled over at 2:30 a.m. after making a u-turn and driving without his lights on. During the stop, police recovered a loaded handgun — a felony offense — and Telfair was arrested.
Via the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office:
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on June 11, 2017, at approximately 2:50 a.m., officers in an unmarked police car saw a Ford F-150 parked on a center median at Atlantic Avenue and Classon Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The pickup truck then made a U-turn off of the median, in front of the police and continued to drive down Atlantic Avenue without turning on its headlights. When officers approached to perform a traffic stop, the smell of marijuana was present, as was a lit marijuana cigarette in the car’s console, according to testimony.
Telfair was observed in the driver’s seat, and a second man was seated in the front passenger seat. Following the arrest, police conducted a search of the truck and recovered a loaded .45 caliber gun in the console.
For context, New York gun laws are extremely restrictive, so Telfair’s sentence tracks here. Telfair last played in the NBA for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2014. He appeared in 16 games before being waived by OKC.
This is not the first time that Telfair has been in trouble with the law. In 2007, Telfair was pulled over in New York after speeding. Telfair was driving on a suspended license, and during the stop police recovered a handgun from his vehicle. In 2008 the New York high school basketball legend was sentenced to three years probation, and suspended three games by the NBA.
Telfair heading to jail is a bummer, and another upsetting chapter in a basketball career that could have been promising but never really took shape.