NBA forward Thabo Sefolosha is out for the season!
The Utah Jazz star player will reportedly undergo a major surgery on his right MCL – an injury that he suffered during Friday’s game when the Jazz lost against the Charlotte Hornets. It was actually Marc Stein from the New York Times who issued the report via Twitter that the 33-year-old Switzerland native is expected to miss a minimum of six months after he undergoes the operation.
If that is truly the case, then the Utah Jazz will essentially be losing a major cornerstone of its perimeter offense – especially since Sefolosha has shot 38 from the three-point line and 49 from the floor so far this season.
According to the official NBA website, Thabo Sefolosha averages 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds along with 1.4 steals per game. Statistics show that the Jazz work much better with him playing on the floor than sitting on the sideline. As of the day this article was published, the Utah Jazz is currently raking in the 10th slot within the Western Conference in the season standings.
Sefolosha signed with the Utah Jazz as a free agent during last year’s offseason to a multi-year deal. Before his NBA career led him to play under the leadership of head coach Quin Snyder in Utah, he spent 2014-2017 on the Atlanta Hawks roster preceded by the five years he played alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
— NBA Quiz 2016 (@NBAQuiz2016) September 11, 2015
However, the very first chapter of Sefolosha’s NBA career began with the Philadelphia 76ers selecting him in the 2006 NBA Draft with the 13th pick and immediately trading him to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for cash considerations and the 16th pick, Rodney Carney.
Scott Skiles, who served as the Chicago Bulls head coach at the time, stated that “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.”
Sefolosha claimed that he was “certainly surprised” when he was first told that he was the next pick selection – admitting that he initially thought there was some sort of mistake.
Off the court, Thabo Sefolosha has had a pretty eventful year filled with ups and downs. While still on the Atlanta Hawks roster, Sefolosha came to a settlement agreement for his lawsuit against the New York Police Department last April. Specifically, he sued five NYPD officers – filing claims of excessive force, false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. The lawsuit was the result of an April 8, 2015, incident near a Manhattan nightclub were Sefolosha suffered ligament damage in addition to a broken fibula during his arrest after NYPD officers claimed that he and Hawks teammate Pero Antic were interfering with an active crime scene on the night in question.
According to ESPN, Sefolosha reached a settlement agreement worth $4 million.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) April 6, 2017
Statement from Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on settling lawsuit with NYPD: pic.twitter.com/aQKgL1QtKj
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) April 7, 2017
Later the same year, in October, Thabo Sefolosha was rafting with his family along the Provo River just two days after moving to Utah. As reported by 247 Sports, he encountered Lori Clark – a woman who had hit a rock and was struggling to breathe after being flipped from within her inner tube. According to the report, Sefolosha even took the humble approach when asked about his job. He apparently told Clark that he had recently moved to Utah for work and that he “worked for the Jazz” – not that he played for the team. Clark claimed that she figured he probably played for the team after observing his shoe size.
What will the rest of 2018 bring for Thabo Sefolosha on the court when he finally makes his post-operation return or even off the court? Utah Jazz fans and critics will just have to wait and see. For the time being, though, they are undoubtedly hoping for Sefolosha to undergo a successful operation and have a quick recovery.