Monday, May 7th, 2012 at 11:20 am  |  30 responses

Al Jefferson Thinks the San Antonio Spurs Will Win the 2012 NBA Title

After three consecutive, demoralizing losses to the San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz big man has reached an understandable conclusion: the Spurs aren’t beatable this year. (Hmm, wonder what Jerry Stackhouse thinks of this?) From the Express-News: “Before Sunday’s practice, Jefferson essentially declared the Spurs to be NBA champions-in-waiting. ‘I just think we’re playing against a team that is at its peak,’ Jefferson said. ‘I don’t see nobody beating them.’ Jefferson’s comments were striking, considering Utah’s series with the Spurs is still in progress. Game 4 is tonight in Utah. Apprised of Jefferson’s prediction after their own practice session at EnergySolutions Arena, the Spurs seemed flattered, but deemed it premature. ‘The best team out there won’t be decided for a while yet,’ coach Gregg Popovich said. ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to be that team, and we’re trying.’ It is a one-game-at-a-time approach echoed by Popovich’s captain, Tim Duncan, even with the Spurs on the verge of sweeping a playoff series for the first time since the 2007 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even with the Spurs going 41-7 since Jan. 30. ‘We’re still growing a little bit,’ Duncan said. ‘It’s early in the playoffs. We have some ways to go before we can define what kind of team we’re going to be.’ Jefferson thinks he knows the Spurs’ ceiling. Whether he’s correct will be determined over the next six weeks or so. ‘Right now, they just playing well, man,’ Jefferson said. ‘I ain’t never seen nothing like this.’”

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  • huami

    Way to lead your team in low spirits. Basically said “we give up”. Come on now, it ain’t over till you lose 4 games, son.

  • spurs4life

    Jefferson just threw in towel. GO SPURS!!!

  • Raymond

    i agree :)

  • FnF

    Al Jefferson just can’t catch a break. In Boston during the bad years. In Minnesota during the bad years. Goes to Utah, Deron promised to make him an All-star, got his coach fired & left all in one move. Finally leads a team to the playoffs only to be buzzsawed by the Spurs. Tough luck kid.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    Thank you for saying that Big Al. But, I want everyone in the basketball world to not take “notice” of the Spurs during this play-offs. They’ve been beating teams by a wide margin since I don’t know when. Can somebody give me the stats on that? Thanks :)

  • everything

    2011 is dirk’s revenge against the heat.
    2012 is lebron’s revenge against the spurs.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well if Al Jefferson did anything but shoot every time he gets the ball, and get destroyed on defense maybe his teams would have more success….

  • ClydeSays

    Jefferson is one of the true post players in the League. He’s basically unstoppable on the block. But he’s still a weak defender after 8 years as a pro. Hope he took some notes from TD & will work on that aspect of his game.

  • Mariano

    As a Spurs fan I always wanted the Spurs to pursue Al Jefferson ever since his Boston days. I always loved the kid, and I think he’d be perfect in our system. Tim Duncan mentoring this kid could have been really big for Al… it’s never too late, though. Too bad we don’t have the money.

  • creycool

    to nbk:

    what do expect him to do when hes the only one on the team worth taking a shot. its just like when lebron was in cleveland. hes a great player but he doesnt have a team. look at the spurs. they have a big three and a very strong surrounding cast. thats how you win. i think aj is a great player, but will never win a ring in utah, just like lebron would have never won one in cleveland.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Could have waited till after you got bounced to say this, lol

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    PLEASE don’t EVER compare Al Jefferson to any player that can be the best player on a championship team. idk if you are new to watching Jefferson play, but the guy has been one of the most selfish players in the league his whole career. ANd he is not at all “the only one on the team worth taking a shot.” Not at all. Plus he’s the worst defensive big man in the NBA. Al Jefferson just won’t win a title period, unless he becomes a role player on an Elite team. Like Carlos Boozer.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    He’s a legit 20 and 10 player–I’m sure the criticisms you have about him were the exact same for Zach Randolph five years ago.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    They were similar, but Zach Randolph was never considered a premiere big-man before last season. Before that his reputation was what Jefferson’s should be. A selfish post player who is a horrid defender and doesn’t help his team win like a player putting up 20 and 10 should.
    Zach Randolph adapted his offensive game quite a bit over the last 3 seasons. Which has transformed his reputation. Given that Jefferson doesn’t show any semblance of even noticing he has teammates, I highly doubt that ever happens.

  • Mike Mihalow

    Jefferson and Stackhouse are just being honest. It just goes to show that sometimes, lying is the right thing to do.

  • lakernation

    The only thing bad about that comment, is that it should of never been made…..thats something you keep to yourself, or you tell your significant other in bed after great sex, smoked a cigarette and feel very comfortable. That is not something you tell a reporter… especially if its still more games to be played. Whatever happened to having pride? To say you dont see noone else beating them is like saying Utah is the number two team in the league and if San Antonio can beat us they can beat anybody! SMH

  • toinefan88

    OKC will destroy them.

  • http://abcnews.com charliewinning

    I think that for the sake of professionalism guys should avoid saying these things while their team is still playing. Even though most of the time they’re just answering questions, they can dance around the issue. “The Spurs are a tough team. We’re just going to go out there and play hard. Give it our all” blah blah blah. It just seems so unprofessional to answer like that your current opponent will probably win it all. Sounds like he’s saying “Why play hard? No one can beat them anyway”.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ nbk: Where is this huge reputation Al Jefferson has, though? He’s never made an All-Star team despite posting some pretty gaudy stats, especially in Minnesota. He should have made it the year he put up 23 and 11, imo.

  • bike

    It’s cool to respect your opponent but maybe stop short of saying how far you think they are going to go. Much better to say something like the West is the best and someone from the west is going to win it all.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Well considering the coaches choose the reserves….they value winning (unless you put up Kevin Love numbers). Jefferson was what a top 30-35 player according to Slam’s top 50, and around there or even higher on similar lists. Couples with people comparing his impact to a guy like LeBron’s (See 12:28) and the recent conversations I’ve had with people who say trading him and pieces for Garnett was fair value I get the feeling that people think he’s much better than he really is.

  • creycool

    i wasnt exactly comparing him to lebron as much i was comparing the two teams. and it wasnt about lebron, again, if even more referred to your comment about maybe if he didnt shooot so much and get dominated they would win (SEE 12:09). i know exactly how good he is. i know lebron is 20 times better. it was the fact that HE DOESNT HAVE A TEAM LIKE LEBRON DIDNT HAVE A TEAM IN CLEVELAND. if you were able to read between the lines and INTERPRET things correctly you would have figured that out. no offense. just saying you read the comment wrong.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Uhm what does LeBron’s team in Cleveland (which won over 60 games what 3-straight times) have anything to do with Utah. Which is a far more talented and skilled team, whose first option is a much much worse and more selfish player….. The only thing too interpret is that the two situations are not related at all.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Al jeff is right.

  • creycool

    jesus, nevermind, you obviously dont understand what im trying to say. lol.

  • LA Huey

    I don’t like this. Question: Do you bench a guy if he says this?

  • Frank P

    The Spurs are coming out the West!

  • Jerome

    Somewhere, Demarcus Cousins nods in approval.

  • Youngindy21

    I think the SA Spurs definitely have the best shot to come out of the West, maybe even to win the championship. I noticed how good they were during the regular season when they played my team. I think it will be a Heat-Spurs Final but I am hoping my team(Pacers)come out of the East. Tim Duncan is a beast and Tony Parker has been playing Great this season. Plus they get contributions from almost everybody on their team. I don’t see anything wrong w/ what Jefferson said. There is no shame in pointing out that another team is better than your team.

  • Holiday

    Al Jefferson is a pretty good scorer down low, but at a cost. He kills game flow and transitions, he causes the offense to become stagnant by holding the ball too long and he seemingly never passes. As a Jazz fan I would gladly trade him for a good shooting guard that can defend the 3 as well as knock it down! Favors is gonna be an Allstar, and maybe with time Kanter will improve! My hats off to the Spurs they looked determined!