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Richard Jefferson on how stinky NBA players affected his game — "If they're doing it on purpose, they win"

Richard Jefferson's answer is proof that he's an absolute professional and why he's an NBA Champion.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson

Richard Jefferson

At the highest level, basketball is broken down into the finest details. Every nuance is considered and can be used against you. Richard Jefferson, who played for eight teams in 17 years in the NBA, understands how players and teams will use everything they can to get the advantage — even if it involves nasty bodily odors.

Messier than others

Though NBA players are multimillionaires with access to the finest toiletries, they can’t escape sweating and developing all sorts of smells. There's, of course, a Dennis Rodman story about this, and you guessed it. The Worm partied so hard he "smelled like a brewery" the next day.

This is a reality that Richard Jefferson doesn’t seem to accept. According to him, some players use their stink to aid their strategies. The forward shared his thoughts on how smelly NBA players affected his play.

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If there’s somebody that prides themselves on something like that, then they win. If they’re doing it on purpose, they win. But someone’s smell has never deterred me from guarding someone. I have a job to do. If you’re sweaty or smelly or too tall, too short, it doesn’t matter. I have a job to do and some jobs are messier than others,” Jefferson said, per SB Nation.

Reggie Miller agrees with RJ. According to Uncle Reg, the best shooter he ever played against, Drazen Petrovic, “smelled like he never took a shower.” That's taking "winning at all cost" to another level.

A true champion

Jefferson’s answer explains why he played for so long in the league and why he won an NBA Championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers two years after his comments. The man is an absolute professional. When one says he’s willing to do anything to win, the only way to find out if he lives by his words is by assigning him to guard a stinky player. If he bolts and lets the player score, then he’s a no-good charlatan. If he says “f**k it,” holds his breath, and gets physical with his man, he’s a keeper and a future champion.

On one of his trips to the NBA Finals, Jefferson encouraged the young guns in the team to enjoy the journey. It sounds like a cliche but if you’re familiar with Jefferson’s career, you’ll understand what he meant. After all, in his first two years in the NBA, RJ made it to two consecutive NBA Finals. It took 13 years before he returned to basketball’s biggest stage. Everyone’s journey to an NBA title is unique. But the one thing that everyone will experience is guarding sweaty men — some of which are allergic to deodorant.

On the flip side, Jefferson’s answer seems like a precedent to his broadcasting career. He was tame and professional with his comments but you could see his wit oozing out. Now, it seems he’s cut off the chains and been the funny man he’s always wanted to be. 

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