Despite the slight Australian in his accent, Matisse Thybulle isn’t a potential Boomer hiding in plain sight.
Thybulle was drafted at 20th by the Boston Celtics, and traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the 24th and 33rd picks.
The 6’5 shooting guard was named Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Thybulle, who has been projected as the best defender in the 2019 NBA draft, grew up in Sydney and lived in Australia for seven years.
“I remember the beaches by our house,” Thybulle shared, in a piece from the Seattle Times. “I remember I thought it was so weird when we came to the U.S. because the Santa Claus in Australia wore a speedo and rode a surfboard. And when I came here, he was all dressed up in cold weather. The seasons are opposite so our Christmas was basically in the summer.
“I have some childhood friends that are still over there that I’ve kept in touch with a little bit. So it’s going to be exciting.”
He was part of the Pac-12 All-Star men’s basketball team that played in August 2016.
“It was really good to go back and experience the culture,” he said. “It was kind of the same as I remember it from when I was a little kid.”
Following Thybulle’s selection, the question arose on whether Thybulle did have Australian citizenship. A roster release from the 2017/18 University of Washington Huskies listed him as having dual citizenship.
However, the Huskies release was likely a clerical error. It was clarified by both Tom Read (NBA Australia, NBA Canada) and Olgun Uluc (Fox Sports Australia), who confirmed that Thybulle does not have Australian citizenship.
Well, that was fun while it lasted. A top-tier defensive talent like Thybulle, playing alongside Ben Simmons would be a definite boost for the Boomers.