The Atlanta Hawks' Thabo Sefolosha broke his ankle during an incident with the NYPD that ended with his arrest Wednesday night, according to RealGM’s Shams Charania. He will miss the remainder of the season.
The NBA confirmed news of the injury in a statement provided Thursday:
Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha suffered injuries during yesterday’s early morning incident. An examination of Sefolosha’s right leg, including an X-ray at Barclays Center yesterday and an MRI today at Peachtree Orthopaedics revealed a fractured fibula and ligament damage that will require surgery. He is out for the remainder of the season, including the entire postseason, and a timeline for his return will be updated at a later date.
“This is a very difficult situation for Thabo and our thoughts and support will be with him during his recovery. We know that his approach and dedication will serve him well in his rehabilitation,” Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Our team remains focused and will be prepared as we head into the postseason.”
Sefolosha sustained the injury outside a club, near where Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland was stabbed. After the attack, Sefolosha and Hawks teammate Pero Antic were arrested by police, who said the two players were resisting arrest and obstructing the investigation. From The New York Times:
One of the two Hawks team members who were arrested, Thabo Sefolosha, 30, an eight-year veteran from Switzerland, was arraigned on charges of resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct after he ran “in an aggressive manner” toward a police officer who had his back turned to Mr. Sefolosha, according to a criminal complaint. It took four officers to place Mr. Sefolosha in handcuffs, the complaint says.
Sefolosha and Antic have taken issue with the police’s interpretation of events, releasing a statement in which they said they will “contest these charges and look forward to communicating the facts of the situation at the appropriate time.”
TMZ Sports released a video of Sefolosha's arrest Thursday evening. "That's crazy, why are they doing that?" a bystander can be heard asking.
Upon hearing the news of Sefolosha’s injury, David Zirin of The Nation took to Twitter to question the NYPD’s interpretation of events:
The Hawks are one of the best teams in the NBA this year and currently hold the best record in the Eastern conference. All-Star teammate Paul Millsap is also hurt, and the team only has four games left this season before the playoffs, so the timing of this couldn’t really be worse for the team from a basketball perspective.
This post has been updated to include TMZ's video of the incident and statements from the NBA and Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer.