Richard Jefferson was one of those NBA’s long-serving players who has had a decently successful career but is forgotten among new fans.
Most of the current generation of NBA fans might only remember Richard Jefferson as an NBA analyst or a veteran role player who came to the Cleveland Cavaliers to win rings alongside LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love.
They are not at total fault though. The league hasn’t done an impressive job in presenting some of the longest and most successful NBA careers because of its sole focus on rewarding the superstars of the league.
But we should do the due diligence and revisit the 41-year-old’s 17-year NBA career where he scored around 15000 points, and 4700 boards and played in some great teams starting with the dominant Brooklyn Nets of the early 2000s.
— Best of Pro Sports (@pro_sports_best) June 21, 2022
ESPN’s cheerful analyst Richard Jefferson once used to posterize The Mamba, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and several other legends of the game
Coming out of Arizona in 2001, the 6’7 small forward was selected as the 13th pick by the Houston Rockets and got traded to the Nets who had one of the best point guards in the league in Jason Kidd in the team.
Still, nobody expected that team with a 3x All-Star and a 13th pick rookie to make much noise and boy did they not ruin some crucial years for the multiple favourites in the East with their solid teamwork.
Those gritty Nets with just 1 All-Star in their ranks went into two straight NBA Finals in 2002 and 03 being the #1 and #2 team in the East those two years and Jefferson was one of the reasons for the Nets franchise’s most successful days.
Having multiple seasons in which he’d average over 19-20 points a game throughout the campaign, Richard would suffer two major injuries in his wrist and ankle and become a role player after being one of the most complete players on both ends of the floor for 8 seasons.
The jolly ESPN analyst was a menace on the court who never cared who was on the receiving end of his plays including late great Kobe Bryant or future teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. He had a plethora of highlight dunks against some of the greatest players of all time.
Richard Jefferson had some nasty & disrespectful dunks! pic.twitter.com/s4q0OtXRDU
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 21, 2022
Let’s make sure RJ’s game and his long and significant career must not be forgotten, however great of an analyst and entertainer he becomes in the future.