Telfair Welfare

Sebastian Telfair thought he knew the fire. Now, he’s really in it

The Celtics overreacted a bit in stripping Sebastian Telfair’s nameplate off his locker in the wake of his arrest last week for gun possession. The Celtics guard – and star of his own biopic, “Through the Fire” – was arrested on second-degree possession after cops found a loaded .45 in the car he was driving earlier this week. Now, yes, the car was going 77 mph in a 45 mph zone Yonkers, and it was damn near 4 a.m., but the gun reportedly belonged to his girlfriend (why does she have a gun? That’s for another post.) and Telfair claimed to not even know it was there.

Stop laughing!

The Celtics say they “may cut ties” with the tk-year guard who cross-overed (stumbled maybe?) straight from high school to the NBA after agonizing over the decision for the ESPN pic. No doubt they’d be more lenient if the kid could play!

That said, did anyone else notice the quote from Telfair’s attorney, who, in an ESPN story, may have inadvertently touched upon one of the great roots for the downfall of many young black too-rich-too-soon athletes. He said Telfair, still only 21, is supporting 17 members of his family. Forget Deadbeat Dads. How about Deadbeat Family?! Sad.

In the heartwarming, biopic, you rooted for Sebastian. You cheer for him. You even supported his decision to turn pro right out of high school. Now, I’m not so sure.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.  What happened to this joyful kid?


6 thoughts on “Telfair Welfare

  1. mdrunner09 says:


  2. ESPN conveniently showed “Through the Fire” on Classic this weekend. This was one of the big things about kids jumping from high school straight to the pros. Now, he’s in danger of falling outta the league (though I’m sure someone else will take a chance on him) and he’s only 21. Sad.

  3. See, this is why I always cringe at the NBA/NFL draft, when Uncle So & So or Aunt Whatshername, seems a bit TOO happy about their nephew (who they always loved, even when he didn’t have money) gets picked in the draft. It’s like folks won the lotto.

    My advice? I’d have a meeting with a lawyer. I’d put together a list: Those who really did help you get to where you were, and those who didn’t. Those who didn’t get nothing. Those who did get just enough to help their lives, but not make themselve dependent on you. Plus, I’d have a lawyer draw up papers saying that my gift was a one time thing, and that if they mentioned or asked for any more money, that gift would turn into a loan, which they’d have to pay back. Or something like that. Seventeen family members? Hell to the naw.

  4. Claude says:

    When someone deep down does not feel that they are worth it or worthy, then they cannot adequately receive the abundance of the universe, no matter how much they get, because they will eventually have to give it all away, usually subconsciously, since that is the only way to reconcile the disparity between what they got (e.g., a multi-million dollar contract or winning the lottery) and what their personal financial/self-esteem blueprint tells them they are worth as human beings. This is why up to 40% of all NBA players retire with no more money than what they had when they were drafted, and why most lottery winners end up back where they started financially. If your blueprint is set at $50,000 then that is where you will end up. No matter what.

    Unless you understand how to change the blueprint. It is possible and do-able. Yet, no one in the NBA Rookie Transition Program teaches that. In fact, to get there is more about “unlearning” than it is about learning. I have not seen or heard of any politician, leader, organizer, educator, writer, or clergy talk about the need to “unlearn.” Have you?

  5. melody winstead says:

    Perhaps the professional team could appoint a mentor to very young players to advise them on how to spend their money. The private therapist could do the rest. What a very heavy load this young man is carrying: Fame + growing pains + the other stuff that goes with llife.

  6. Jake says:


    I had the opportunity to watch and talk with Sebastian on a couple of occassions the summer before his senior year at Lincoln. The youngster was a victim of his own celebrity. Consider this Telfair at just 16 years old was being courted by both Adidas and Nike. During his last AAU tour Adidas provided his team the Juice All-Stars with a bus equipped with a satellite dish, monster bed and 50 inch plasma. Get this, all of that was in Telfair’s private room in the back of the bus. His arrogance was growing to monstrous proportions even then. He routinely blew off interviews with smaller media houses in favor of ESPN and Fox. What was even more absurd is that his brother and cousin, who traveled with him, benefited the most. They received tons of athletic apparell including shoes that hadn’t hit the stores.

    What has happened to the young man is indeed sad especially considering he had the opportunity to consult with his older cousin Stephon Marbury. Telfair wasn’t ready but the league cowboy-ed up and selected him anyway.

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