A six-person jury has been seated to decide whether Atlanta Hawks player Thabo Sefolosha obstructed governmental administration, engaged in disorderly conduct and resisted arrest stemming from an April 8 confrontation outside of a Manhattan nightclub.
Opening statements are scheduled for Tuesday morning and the trial is expected to wrap up by the end of the week in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Sefolosha's defense attorney, Alex Spiro, said his client was "completely innocent" of the charges and has plead not guilty.
During jury selection, Spiro said that while his client, a Swiss national, may have been "mouthy'' and "fresh'' in his dealings with officers after the stabbing, no crime had been committed.
He also argued that the New York City Police Department's decision to arrest Sefolosha possibly had been strongly influenced by his race.
"I can't have a referendum, but my client is black," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Spiro as saying in court.
The selected jurors include four women and two men, one of whom is black, according to The New York Times.
Six police officers will be called as witnesses for the prosecution, an assistant district attorney, Francesca Bartolomey, said Monday. Spiro had sought to review the personnel records of five officers involved in incident but the judge, Robert Mandelbau, denied that motion.
Sefolosha sustained a season-ending injury in the April struggle and missed the Hawks' playoff run. Police were investigating the stabbing of Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland, his girlfriend and another woman. They say Sefolosha ignored orders to step away from the crime scene and became combative.
According to The New York Times, Spiro says Sefolosha insisted on going to trial to clear his name.
Prosecutors announced they were dropping charges against another Hawks player, Pero Antic.