LG Sakers release Davon Jefferson for disrespecting the Korean national anthem

On March 18th, 2015, two teams were standing parallel to each-other facing the Korean flag for the pre-game ritual of the national anthem. While the entire arena in Ulsan, South Korea removed their caps and rose for the Aegukga (Korea’s national athem), one player felt the need to crouch down and stretch his lower body.

The LG Sakers released a statement on Friday, March 20th, just before game 2 of their KBL semi-finals matchup against Mobis stating the team and Jefferson are parting ways. Jefferson was seen slouching over and listening to his iPod while everyone else was honouring the Korean national anthem. It was Jefferson’s way of saying “Fuck You” to the entire nation of South Korea, a nation that has employed Jefferson for the past two seasons. It was only fitting that Jefferson posted this photo on his social media account right after his 86-71 loss to Mobis.

Jefferson suggesting that everyone in Korea are losers.


Jefferson, 28, was a top ranked collegiate basketball player at the University of Southern California in 2007 playing alongside NBA lottery pick OJ Mayo.

Jefferson had all of the abilities to become a solid NBA player but during the off-season he gained 50 pounds and rumors of Jefferson’s poor attitude spread fast amongst NBA scouts. Jefferson ignored all of the people around him who tried convincing him to stay in school, instead, he would declare for the NBA draft after his freshman year only to go undrafted.

Who hurt himself the worst? Most likely Davon Jefferson. He came here out of shape, and has barely been hustling at all for the past two days. Although he was able to use his freakish athleticism to make some plays on the glass and in transition, NBA types can’t be crazy about what they are seeing here. He needs to realize the urgency of the situation quickly if he wants to avoid destroying what otherwise might be a very promising future. At this point it looks very obvious that the 21-year old freshman is not ready to be in this draft, and definitely made a hasty decision hiring an agent. – DraftExpress, 2008

So with no education, and an shattered NBA dream, Jefferson decided to get away from all of the accolades and play professional basketball in Europe. But as always, trouble would follow Jefferson.

In 2011, an NCAA investigation found that Jefferson was allegedly receiving illegal money while attending the University of South California. Jefferson received the news while playing for the Triumph Lyubertsy of the VTB United League (East European league). If those NCAA allegations weren’t enough to teach Jefferson a lesson, then being kicked off his Russian team should have been.

On December 2nd, 2011, an article from a French basketball news website states Jefferson has been suspended by the team for an altercation with Lithuanian police upon leaving a nightclub intoxicated. Jefferson and teammate TyWain McKee were both tasered by police and took into custody, but were not charged.

South Korea was supposed to be a fresh start for Jefferson, a new beginning. But old habits are tough to break. Last season, Jefferson let his game do the talking. He would lead the LG Sakers all the way to the finals in his first year in the league. The Sakers decided to re-sign Jefferson to a $35,000 USD per month contract.

This season, Jefferson suffered an elbow injury, but that didn’t stop him from spotted out in Seoul’s Itaewon district, a district known for it’s nightlife. Jefferson was given royal treatment from the LG Sakers due in large part to the fact that he could single handedly win games on his own. He is that good. But while other players would show up to practice, Jefferson did his own thing. He was above the law the world of the LG Sakers. There were instances throughout the season where the head coach of the LG Sakers would draw up a play, and Jefferson would just take the ball and make his own play. His natural talent trumps all his attitude problems, sure, but basketball is a team game, and you are only as good as the guy next to you.

Jefferson’s I.D.F.W.Y. (I don’t fuck with you) attitude caught up to him in what is most likely his last KBL game. When he was caught “Not Fucking With” the Korean national anthem. This was just one of Jefferson’s many disgraceful acts, but this one could not be swept under the LG rug. Fans, media, and the league forced LG to take action; LG was pressured into removing Jefferson from the team. Jefferson’s recent post on his social media account thanked his head coach, who was like one of those parents who let their bad kid get away with anything and give them anything they want. Well, what Jefferson wanted most was to go back to America.

And as always, he got what he wanted. As for the LG Sakers, they become just another team that paid Jefferson a boat load of money only to have him quit mid-way through the playoffs.

The LG Sakers will go forward with one single foreign player, Chris Massie, for the remainder of the playoffs.

Nick Bedard (@bedardnick) is the editor-in-chief of Basketballbuddha.com.

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