Over his approximately 67-year basketball career, Richard Jefferson has failed a lot. But as a minor contributor in Cleveland, he has finally achieved ultimate competitive glory. And he’s not afraid to give credit where it’s due.
When asked at his postgame press conference what he learned about LeBron James over the last two weeks, here’s what Jefferson had to say:
I owe my entire basketball career to him.
I’ll give you a little walk down right now. I lost the national championship game to Duke, then I lost two straight NBA Finals, then my third year we lost to Detroit after being up 3-2 and they won the championship, then I lost to Miami and they won the championship, then to top it off I went to the Olympics and we were the worst team of all time. My whole career has been so, so close.
Then I had a stretch of six to seven years where you become a little bit of a journeyman. To be able to get on a team and walk in with a guy that says he’s going to be able to carry you and bring me here, I owe everything, every shot, every play, everything I’ve ever done to that man.
On that note, Jefferson is retiring. He told Fox Sports Ohio’s Allie Clifton last night that he was walking away from the game, and planned to spend more of his time on essays, like the “well-written” piece he wrote for The Players’ Tribune.
“All I’m gonna do is write essays,” Jefferson said. “I don’t know what they’re going to be. They might be erotic. I don’t know. But I’m just going to write lots of essays.” He’ll have plenty of time to figure that out.