Richard Jefferson, for months, said he begged Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue for the chance to check Kevin Durant.
Jefferson, 36, got his chance in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, and did a more-than-admirable job on the former MVP.
RJ thinks it's unfair what Cavs ask of LeBron. He wanted to help. The decision at least temporarily saved the Finals https://t.co/nGgVFXFiQp
— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydNBA) June 12, 2017
“Fucking begging for it,” Jefferson told The Athletic. “I’ve been begging…
“I’ve been doing this for 16 years. I can do things. And the more you give me a little bit of an opportunity, the more you give me a little bit more of a leash, I can contribute … The best thing Ty did is he gave me a leash.”
Durant missed six of seven shots with RJ as his primary defender in the Cavs’ 137-116 win.
“Well, I’ve guarded K.D. since he came into this league,” Jefferson said prior to the Cavaliers’ practice Sunday afternoon in Oakland. “He’s one of the best talents that this league has seen. It’s the same with guarding LeBron. I had to do that. All the high-level small forwards. Carmelo (Anthony). These are guys that are very different players. They’re all very unique talents, and so you have your hands full when you get that opportunity to guard them.”
During the Cavs’ Game 4 win Friday, Jefferson tallied a playoff-high 22 minutes, scoring eight points to go with three rebounds. But his biggest contribution came on the defensive end, a part of the rotation that held Durant to his least efficient game of the series.