Utah Jazz guard Bobby Hansen suffered his broken cheekbone when he was sucker-punched by teammate Bart Kofoed without provocation, according to a friend of Hansen's who saw the incident.
Anita Wille said in an interview with the Des Moines Sunday Register the punch was thrown as guests were leaving a New Year's Eve party at Hansen's house. She claimed it did not stem from horseplay that escalated, the official explanation given by the Jazz."It was just like watching an automobile accident," Wille told the Register. "It was so totally unexpected and unprovoked, that's all you can say. We're just heartsick about it.
"It's sad and senseless and Bobby just isn't to blame. He's definitely a victim. He had nothing to do with it."
The blow shattered Hansen's left cheekbone and he'll be out six to eight weeks. The Jazz cut Kofoed last week.
Wille and her husband, Carl, are godparents' to Hansen's 14-month-old daughter, Bailey Anne. Hansen and his wife, Mary, had invited the Willes and several other friends to their Salt Lake City home for a New Year's Eve party.
Kofoed had not been invited, but came later with several other friends, Anita Wille said. She said Hansen, Kofoed and Kofoed's brother were "horsing around like guys do" about an hour before the incident, but added that wasn't related to the actual punch.
"The evening was over," she said. "We were all just gathering our things and more or less saying goodbye and they were talking about practice the next morning. Mary's going to have a baby in August. She'd already gone to bed.
"And out of nowhere came this long arm. You could hear bone crack and it spun Bobby around and knocked him senseless. He was so unaware it was going to happen. He had his arms down at his side. A normal person would have been knocked out. It was just one, hard, horrible punch."
Wille says Kofoed threatened to hit Hansen again.
"We just backed Bobby out and told Bart to get out of the house," she said.
Wille told the newspaper that Hansen had a few beers during the party, but no one was drunk, including Kofoed.
"He didn't look like he'd even had a drink," she said. "He had a really strange, staring look on his face."