On Monday, Brooklyn’s District Attorney announced former LA Clippers guard, Sebastian Telfair, has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for illegal gun possession.
Telfair was seemingly the next point guard to run the league when he graced the cover of SLAM Magazine with LeBron James, each showcasing their high school jerseys, in August 2002.
The Portland Trail Blazers were the team that rolled the dice on the 6’0 point guard from Brooklyn. A relative of Jamel Thomas and Stephon Marbury, Telfair had basketball in his blood and was expected to be the face of the Blazers after Scottie Pippen and Arvydas Sabonis retired.
However, those early 2000’s Portland teams were nicknamed “the Jail Blazers” for a reason. Qyntel Woods, Rasheed Wallace, an Bonzi Wells had already been discharged from the team by the time Telfair was drafted, but Portland was, by no means, short on trouble-makers. Ruben Patterson, Damon Stoudamire, Zach Randolph, Darius Miles, and Ha Seung-Jin were on the team when Bassy made his arrival, and they were likely less-than-ideal role models.
Telfair had a run in with the law in 2007 when police found a loaded fire-arm in his vehicle. It was his most recent slip-up, however, that has him in the hot seat now. In January 2017, Brooklyn police officers arrested him for possession of a firearm, ammo, a ballistic vest, and drugs in his car.
The LA Clippers acquired Telfair in the summer of 2009, when they received him, Mark Madsen, and Craig Smith from the Minnesota Timberwolves in return for Quentin Richardson. Telfair only played 39 games with the Clippers, coming off the bench in 38 of them. His 4.3 points and 2.9 assists per game were underwhelming at best, and the Clippers gave up on him at the 2010 trade deadline, sending him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team deal that saw LAC also move Al Thornton to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Drew Gooden.
Sebastian Telfair didn’t live up to his high school hype in the NBA, never averaging more than 10 points per game, and he was barely productive for any of the teams he played for, counting the Clippers. Hopefully his sentencing helps him rehabilitate and hopefully he will leave prison as a changed man in December 2022.