Thabo Sefolosha has made his transition from the courts of law to the basketball courts of the NBA. The Swiss guard of the Atlanta Hawks has finally returned to the lineup since an encounter with New York police had sidelined him with a broken ankle last April. His return to the NBA was at NBA preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs. Sefolosha played limited minutes, but still managed to score 8 points.
Sefolosha missed time during this season when he stood trial on the charges that had resulted in the New York Incident with authorities. The incident happened at a Manhattan nightclub just as the NBA playoffs were about to start. Sefolosha turned down a more lenient plea that was offered to him and decided to go through with the trial. That proved to be a good decision as he was acquitted of all charges last week.
Sefolosha said that he was glad to focus more on basketball and leave all those troubles behind him. And his return to the lineup could not be at a better time. The Atlanta Hawks have made some moves in the offseason that may make an impact on the playing time of Sefolosha. They lost starting forward Demarre Carroll to Toronto, and that spot may be up for grabs between him and young forward Kent Bazemore. Coach Mike Budenholzer says that says it was good to see Thabo back in action, although it may take time for him to get into playing shape.
Sefolosha has played in the NBA for nine years now including his first two and a half years with the Chicago Bulls, five and half seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and last season with the Hawks. He is known more for his defensive abilities, rather that his offensive skills, and he was even named to the 2009-2010 NBA All-Defensive Second Team.
The incident with Sefolosha was controversial because of racial tension set in North America, especially in New York City. This was especially controversial because, even though Sefolosha is Swiss, he does look like an African American. Sefolosha’s incident has also been reappearing in the news after African American Tennis star James Blake was also reportedly a victim of abuse at the hands of New York Police just a few weeks ago.