Richard Jefferson may have been 36, but he was arguably the fourth best Cavalier player in the NBA Finals. In a series where LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were looking for help, Jefferson gave them a quality 17 minutes a night off the bench, making plays on both ends (the Cavs were actually +2 per 100 possessions in the Finals when he was on the court).
The question is, does he want to do it again at age 37.
In his own podcast (which included LeBron James talking about Draymond Green), Jefferson said he is considering retiring. Again. Remember he was going to do that last yer but LeBron talked him into returning.
“I don’t know what I’m about to do next season. The only way I would come back would be if these m—– f—– figure this s— out. Honestly, at the end of the day, coming back alone was not only worth the experience but also worth ‘Road Trippin’,’ man. This s— was cool, man, because we gave fans something that they had never f—ing seen.”
No question he can still contribute in a limited role. The real question for Jefferson is: does he want to put in all the off-season hours to get his body in shape for the next season? Listen to Kobe Bryant or Tim Duncan talk about retiring, and that was when they knew — they didn’t have the desire to do what it took physically to be ready for the next season. In the next few weeks, when emotions have settled down, Jefferson will know whether he wants it or not.
With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.
There were a couple of good ones, however.
Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.
One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.
The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.
Bob Kravitz of WTHR
In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”
Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.
The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.
I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.
The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.
Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:
Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.
Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).
But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.
Could those issues derail his career?
Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”
On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.
But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.