Meet Matisse Thybulle, The Australian Defensive Specialist In The NBA

Lock down defence from down under.

matisse thybulle australia

Matisse Thybulle is an Australian basketball player who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

He is a lock-down defender having been voted on to the NBA All-Defensive second team in both 2021 and 2022.

So, who is Matisse Thybulle and how did he wind up playing in the NBA?

Matisse Thybulle Quick Facts

Name:Matisse Vincent Thybulle
Age (DoB):25 (4 March 1997)
Birthplace:Scottsdale, Arizona
Height:6 ft 5 in / 196 cm
Weight: 14 st 4 lbs / 91 kg
NBA Team:Philadelphia 76ers
Salary:$4,379,527 (AU $6,766,881 – 2022-23 NBA season).
Instagram:@theycallmetisse – 398K followers

Who is Matisse Thybulle?

Matisse Vincent Thybulle is an Australian-American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.

He was drafted with the No. 20 overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2019 NBA Draft, playing for the team ever since.

He plays for the Australian national basketball team and was part of the ‘Boomers’ squad – alongside Jock Landale – who took home the bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Early Life in Australia

Matisse Thybulle lived in Sydney with his family until he was nine years old. Image:@NBC

Matisse Thybulle was born in Scottsdale, Arizona on 4 March 1997. When he was two, his family moved to Sydney for his father’s job, where they lived for roughly seven years. He lived on the North Shore and has fond memories of his time there.

Thybulle joked that “Santa Claus wore a speedo and surfed… that was the Santa we grew up with.”

His father is Haitan and his mother Dr. Elizabeth Thybulle was American. Sadly, she passed away from leukaemia in 2015.

In 2005, Matisse Thybulle and his family returned to America, settling in Sammamish, Washington.

Supposedly he could not make a lay up till he was eight years old, but this changed as he started to grow taller and more confident. His parents used to film his games so that he could watch tape afterwards.

Thybulle’s high school team in in America were pretty poor, so he transferred to Eastside Catholic for his junior year, garnering interest from college scouts.

Despite his mother passing away the day before, he still found a way to play basketball. In the game in question, he scored 17 points on his way to defeating their local rivals.

Thybulle said that his mother’s presence is always with him:

“Taking that mindset into every experience, knowing that she’s always there, she’s never really gone.”

College Career

Matisse Thybulle played for four years at the University of Washington before declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft. Image: @theycallmetisse

Matisse Thybulle committed to playing for the University of Washington due to having a close relationship with Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar.

He started every single game of his freshman year, but after the team went 9-22 the following year, Romar was fired.

Thybulle considered quitting the program altogether, but after meeting new coach Mike Hopkins, he decided to stay.

Matisse Thybulle blossomed under Hopkins’ leadership, becoming a defensive menace and being named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first player in his university to do so

Despite interest from NBA scouts, Thybulle had promised his parents he would finish college. In his senior year, he won the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and the Left Driesell Award given to the best defensive player in the entire nation. After this stellar season, he declared for the NBA draft.

NBA Career

Matisse Thybulle was taken with the No. 20 overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2019 NBA Draft. After the team’s loss in Game 7 of the eastern conference semi-finals to the eventual winner Toronto Raptors, the Sixers wanted to select someone that would immediately help their team in their championship hopes.

The Sixers promised Thybulle they would pick him, so the young star stopped working out for other teams to prevent his draft stock from rising any higher.

After being drafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, Matisse Thybulle has played for the Sixers for his entire time in the league. Image: @ESPN

In his rookie season, he hit five threes and three steals in a win over the Raptors, becoming the first Sixers rookie to achieve the feat since Allen Iverson. He also formed a nice partnership with fellow Aussie Ben Simmons.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the NBA to implement a “bubble”, where players were not allowed to leave to see anyone else but the team. Ever the opportunist, Thybulle saw this as a chance to start vlogging, putting videos on YouTube documenting the experience.

Philadelphia once again reached the eastern conference semi-finals in his second and third years, both times bowing out at this stage.

Despite the team’s playoffs woes, Thybulle’s efforts on defence were being recognised, having been named to the leagues All-Defensive Second Team in both 2021 and 2022.

Matisse Thybulle is finding himself out of the rotation at the start of the 2022-23 NBA season and he becomes a restricted free agent at the season’s end. Will we see Thybulle in different colours next year?

Australian ‘Boomers’

Matisse Thybulle (left) pictured with Boomers co-star and Milwaukee Bucks player Joe Ingles. Image: @LibertyBallers

Proud of his Australian heritage, Matisse Thybulle committed to play for Australia’s national basketball team the ‘Boomers’.

He was a member of the squad for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic games starting just after the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

Matisse Thybulle helped the team take home a bronze medal, beating Slovenia to win Australia’s first ever basketball medal.

Matisse Thybulle’s salary

Mattise Thybulle signed a 4-year $12,513,127 (AU $19,334,245) contract with the Philadelphia 76ers after he was drafted.

For the 2022-23 NBA season, the 24-year-old will earn $4,379,527 (AU $6,766,881)

This and That

The young star values the intimacy of a tight-knit circle, where friends are like family and family are treasured as friends, believing it sets the stage for a fulfilling and beautiful life. 

Seeing himself on television makes him uneasy, likening the experience to peeking behind the scenes of one’s own life, where perceptions may differ from reality.

With a passion for literature, he immersed himself in “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 2021, finding solace and insight within its pages. Proudly representing his country in the “Go Boomers” tournament, he contributed to their well-deserved victory.

@cbssports Books are the perfect gift for Matisse Thybulle 📚 #nba #nbatikok #basketball #nbabasketball ♬ original sound – CBS Sports

He recently participated in an exclusive interview with Red Bull, offering a glimpse into his journey and aspirations, with the interview set for release at a later date.


Due to a lingering right ankle injury, Matisse will remain sidelined in the March matchup against the Hornets. His playing time has been limited, with only 12 minutes of action spread across the last nine games. Unfortunately, this will mark the second consecutive game he has missed due to the injury.

With him out, Kris Murray stands to benefit, but he poses a risky option due to his inconsistency on the court.

Thybulle, who has been dealing with an ankle injury, has been officially ruled out for the upcoming April game against Washington. This decision comes after he aggravated his ankle injury during the previous game against Miami. As a result, he will miss his third consecutive game. Given that the Trail Blazers have been eliminated from playoff contention, there is speculation that they may choose to rest the star for the remainder of the season to avoid further worsening the injuries.

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Matisse Thybulle’s girlfriend

Matisse’s girlfriend, Talsa. Image: @talsaharrr

Mattise Thybulle is believed to be dating fellow basketball player Talsa Harr.

The couple were spotted on Instagram on holiday together in 2021 but generally keep their relationship out of the public eye.

Matisse Thybulle’s vaccine status

In April 2022, Thybulle revealed he was not fully vaccinated for Covid-19. This made him ineligible to play against in games three and four against the Toronto Raptors in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, due to the games being held in Canada.

He revealed that he received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine but felt like he did not need to get the second, once learning you could still catch the disease after being vaccinated.

He also said he grew up in a “holistic household” with “Chinese medicine and naturopathic doctors”.