It was a surprising moment in the minutes after the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched their first NBA title — Richard Jefferson announced he was going to leave while on top, retiring from the NBA. He had a good reason, he’d played 15 NBA seasons and finally reached the pinnacle of the sport, and he was ready.
Except, he may not be, he said on the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday (as broadcast on the NBC Sports Network). You can see the interview above.
“No, it’s is not set in stone,” Jefferson said. “My teammates, ‘Bron and those guys, keep trying to talk me out of it. They say I’m crazy if I retire, so we’ll see. It’s still up for debate.”
Jefferson played a key role in the Finals, allowing the Cavaliers to go small and hang with the Golden State Warriors’ death lineup. Over the course of the season, he gave Cleveland about 18 minutes a night, but it was evident that his skills are slipping (he had a PER of 9.4, a career low).
That said, it will be difficult to turn down a few more million to make one more run at it with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and the Cavaliers’ core. The only question is does he want to put in the work to get his body ready for one more season. Often a title can inspire guys to make that effort another time.