It took Richard Jefferson 15 seasons to win his first NBA title, and after (somewhat improbably) helping deliver the first championship in Cleveland Cavaliers history, RJ said he’s calling it quits Sunday night.
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) June 20, 2016
The wily veteran provided the Cavs with a spark off the bench, and plenty of laughs off the court.
NBA Champion and Snapchat legend. pic.twitter.com/dD19VvxlOW
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 20, 2016
Jefferson, 35, played for seven teams throughout his lengthy career.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal:
Richard Jefferson had the mic drop of the night when he announced his retirement, unprovoked, in the locker room after the game. […] “I’m done. I’m done. I’m retiring,” Jefferson told reporters and repeated on his now-famous Snapchat account.
Jefferson wasn’t even supposed to be here. Had DeAndre Jordan followed through on his verbal commitment with Dallas last summer, Jefferson was going to return to the Mavericks. When Jordan backed out, Jefferson approached Mark Cuban and asked if he could leave, too. Cuban gave Jefferson his blessing and Jefferson sped off to Cleveland. Jefferson knows losing all too well in the NBA. This was his first taste of winning in what was his 15th and apparently his last season.
“I owe my entire basketball career to him,” Jefferson said of (LeBron) James. “I lost the national championship 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.”