Heartbreaking moment Aussie basketball star Dante Exum is busted and flung off the court in a wild all-in brawl involving players and staff – as team doctor says rival who attacked him should go to JAIL
- Left with broken toe, torn tendon and bloodied mouth
- The playoff game was called off and the Exum side won
- Aussie star now races clock for World Cup
Former NBA star Dante Exum is in doubt for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup with the Australian Boomers after being body-pushed in a violent brawl during his EuroLeague playoff game.
The incident occurred when Exum’s team, Partizan Belgrade, led Real Madrid by 15 points with less than two minutes to play on Thursday night. Exum was about to steer his side to victory with a game-high 19 points.
However, Madrid captain Sergio Llull’s cynical foul of Partizan’s Kevin Punter led to a brawl involving players, staff and even guards.
Exum stepped in to defend his teammates, but was forcefully herded into court by former Boston Celtic Guerschon Yabusele, leaving him with a bloodied mouth and a broken toe and torn tendon.
Exum will play for Partizan Mozzart in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague playoffs where a wild brawl erupted in game two of the series that left the Aussie bloodied and injured
Exum, pictured playing for Australia against American star Damian Lillard, now in doubt for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in the Philippines
“The tendon in his toe is broken. His finger was injured and his mouth was covered in blood from a tooth injury,” club doctor Moma Jakovljevic told Mozzart Sport.
“The way Jabusele threw him with a judo move, that’s for prison, for life suspension.
When Jabusele threw him, Exum could have broken his spine, seriously injured his head and ended his career.
‘This was terrible. I’ve never seen this in my life.’
Exum’s injury could have been a huge setback to the Boomers’ FIBA World Championship campaign, as the 27-year-old would have been an important part of coach Brian Goorjian’s team.
The incident forced the game to be canceled, with the result awarded to Partizan Belgrade, now up 2–0 in the best-of-five series.
Exum was racing to help teammates when he was grabbed from behind by former Boston Celtics player Guerschon Yabusele
Yabusele then flips Exum aside and punches him into court in an ugly move that leaves the Australian bleeding, injured and likely unable to play in game three of the playoffs.
The ugly incident is expected to attract fines and suspensions and has raised tensions ahead of game three in Serbia, with some players fearing for the safety of the Madrid team given Partizan’s traditionally rabid fan base.
Madrid captain Rudy Fernandez apologized for the violence.
“After what we went through today, we have to apologize to our fans, to every basketball fan,” Fernandez said.
“We can’t stand this kind of incident, but as players we have emotions and we make mistakes. Today was one of these days.
“The tension has to stop here and we will just have to play a game of basketball so that the fans can enjoy the EuroLeague.”
Exum’s absence would be a blow to the Boomers after his strong contributions in the Tokyo Olympics that helped Australia secure a first ever Olympic medal
Exum began his professional career in 2014 when he was drafted fifth overall by the Utah Jazz in the NBA draft. He played for the Jazz for six seasons before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2020. In the NBA, he averaged 5.7 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game.
He then moved to Europe where he played for FC Barcelona before moving to Partizan Belgrade in 2022.
Exum was also part of the Boomers team that finished fourth at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, and he also represented Australia in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship and the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship.