In his first two years in the league, Richard Jefferson made it all the way to the NBA Finals. He lost in both of them, and it would take him more than a decade to return to the promised land. When he finally won his first and only NBA title, tears flowed from his eyes, much to the chagrin of his wife.
I tell her the truth
Jefferson looked back on winning his first title in his 15th year in the league. It was a long journey. The Arizona native had been part of playoff teams such as the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets and the San Antonio Spurs. He found himself in Cleveland in the summer of 2015, and little did he know that he would finally snag a championship.
“When the buzzer went off, and we were champions, I just sat there and started sobbing. I couldn’t even move. It was just too much,” Jefferson wrote in The Players’ Tribune.
“My wife still teases me about it. She’s like, ‘I don’t understand. You didn’t even cry like that at our wedding! You didn’t cry like that when our kids were born!’
And I tell her the truth.
Any idiot can get married. Any idiot can be a father. An NBA title? That’s work. That’s worth crying over,” Jefferson wrote.
And that settles it. Jefferson has developed a reputation as a no-holds-barred analyst. So when he talks, everyone listens. So even if you disagree with him, he will make you think.
While winning his first ring made him shed grown-man tears, Jefferson is still at odds when he thinks about what happened the following year. The Cavaliers made it back to the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors again.
But this wasn’t your 73-win Warriors team that choked in the NBA Finals. That was a squad with a scoring machine Kevin Durant in the fold, and the Warriors booted out the Cavs in five games.
“You know what’s sick? Even after all that, it genuinely pisses me off that we didn’t repeat as champions. I should have two rings.
( F***ing Kevin Durant, man!!!),” Jefferson wrote.
You can certainly feel Jefferson’s frustration. But whatever the case may be, we can still say that he had a pretty successful tenure in the NBA. He was able to play with the greats like Jason Kidd, Tim Duncan, and LeBron James. Jefferson himself is a champion. And you cannot just say he rode LeBron from start to finish. Jefferson was a vital piece of that championship puzzle.