February 10, 2023
The busy intersection of Frankford and Girard avenues in Fishtown has been graced by a mural of Matisse Thybulle on the exterior wall of the Garage bar for two years.
The Sixers traded the young forward Thursday in a three-team deal at the NBA trade deadline, sending Thybulle to the Portland Trailblazers and getting Jalen McDaniels from the Charlotte Hornets. Draft picks also were swapped in the trade.
On Friday morning, Thybulle shared an Instagram video that shows him tagging the mural with "Thank You, Philly" and adding his signature.
Matisse Thybulle’s goodbye to the Sixers, which he posted on his Instagram pic.twitter.com/iHgySQF5UV— Sam DiGiovanni (@BySamDiGiovanni) February 10, 2023
The bar had posted Thursday about Thybulle's departure from Philadelphia, captioning a photo of him with, "Good night sweet prince."
This is the life of a professional athlete. Thybulle quickly emerged as a fan favorite in Philly after he was drafted in 2019, flashing his defensive tenacity and messing up fast food orders from the veterans on the squad. He made an endearing impression with his vlogs while competing for Australia in the Olympics and generally seemed to have a solid trajectory in front of him in Philly.
Things started going south when Thybulle was unable to play in road games in Toronto during the playoffs last year because he wasn't fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as was then required by regulations in Canada. That's a can of worms in its own right, but Thybulle's inconsistency on offense and playoff performances also came under greater scrutiny as time wore on.
The mural at Garage was painted by artist Gloss Black in a partnership between Red Bull and the Sixers. The arrangement raised money to fix up basketball courts in Philly with donations to Parks & Recreation for every steal Thybulle made.
The future of the Thybulle mural would appear uncertain, now that he's gone, but if the Eagles win the Super Bowl on Sunday, it could be a perfect place to celebrate the Birds in some fashion.
Thybulle, 25, will get a fresh start in the Pacific Northwest, much closer to where he spent the bulk of his upbringing in the Seattle suburbs.