More Culture:

February 20, 2023

Goodbye message Matisse Thybulle left on his Fishtown mural was defaced

The former 76er had spray-painted 'Thank you' on the wall of the Garage, the bar on East Girard Avenue, before leaving town after being traded

Arts & Culture Murals
Matisse Thybulle Mural Fishtown Michael Tanenbaum/PhillyVoice

A vandal splashed paint on the Fishtown mural of former Philadelphia 76er Matisse Thybulle, including where the NBA players had signed a short thank-you note on the painting after being traded to the Portland Trailblazers earlier this month.

The Matisse Thybulle mural on the exterior wall of Garage in Fishtown was splashed with white paint sometime overnight Sunday, covering a portion of the former 76er's likeness and most of the "thank you" message he had spray-painted there after he was dealt to the Portland Trailblazers at the NBA trade deadline.

"Our company statement is, 'This is why we can't have nice things,'" bar manager Brandon Neiburg said Monday afternoon.

Thybulle, 25, spent 3 1/2 seasons in Philadelphia. He and the Sixers partnered with Red Bull, Garage and mural artist Gloss Black in early 2021 to put the mural on the wall of the busy bar at the intersection of Frankford and East Girard avenues. As part of that arrangement, every steal Thybulle had made during Sixers games raised money for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to fix up basketball courts in the city.

When Thybulle was informed he had been traded, he paid the bar a visit during the night and had someone film him leaving his mark on the mural and the city.

So much for that.

Garage isn't planning to get police involved in the matter, and it's not clear when exactly the white paint was splashed on the mural, Neiburg said.

The bar had been planning to paint over the mural in March, anyway. This act of vandalism may expedite that timeline. Thybulle and the Trailblazers play the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 10. 

The interim plan is for Gloss Black to paint over the Thybulle mural with Garage's logo, which shows a handshake against the backdrop of a beer.

Longer term, Neiburg said Garage intends to put a mural of another Philly athlete up on the same wall, possibly through another partnership that benefits the community. It's unclear how soon that might happen.