Former Atlanta Hawks center Pero Antic looks to be the biggest loser in a 1 Oak melee that resulted in two NBA players getting arrested in 2015.
Antic, 34, now stands to get $0 in his lawsuit claiming false arrest and excessive force by the NYPD — well below his hopes for a $25 million payout.
Trial in the high-profile case pitting the 6′-11″ Antic against the police had been set to kick off on August 1st.
Manhattan federal judge Jesse Furman didn’t explain why he tossed Antic’s lawsuit ahead of trial, saying only that he would explain his ruling “in a forthcoming opinion.”
But the judge hinted in the Wednesday court filing that he agreed with city lawyers who argued that Antic’s claims were bogus — in part because he was not harmed during his arrest.
The 2015 melee at the center of the lawsuit began when ex-Knicks forward Chris Copeland was stabbed by a man who tried to intervene in an argument Copeland was having with a lady friend.
That prompted the cops to force everyone to leave the Chelsea nightclub, including Antic and his former colleague, Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha.
Cops said Antic and Sefolosha were dragging their feet, prompting an officer to escort them to their SUV. Once outside the SUV, Sefolosha attempted to give a beggar money, prompting a nearby officer nearby think that Sefolosha was going after the officer who had escorted him to the car.
They arrested Sefolosha. When Antic tried to intervene he, too, was arrested, court papers said.
In April, the city paid Sefolosha $4 million to settle his lawsuit alleging false arrest and excessive force. Sefolosha said his arrest led to serious injuries, including a broken fibula and ligament damage, that forced him to sit out the remainder of the NBA regular season.
City lawyer’s took a tougher stance on Antic’s claims, arguing that the cops “had ample probable cause to arrest” Antic because he tried to obstruct Sefolosha’s arrest. They also scoffed at Antic’s excessive force claim, arguing that he was not injured as a result of his arrest.
Indeed, Antic’s 2016 lawsuit focuses more on the “reputational harm” he claims resulted from media coverage of his arrest rather than any specific physical injuries.
Lawyers for Antic didn’t return a request for comment.
“The court has notified us that the city’s effort to dismiss this suit was successful and that a decision would be issued at a later date,” a spokesman for the city’s Law Department told The Post.