Richard Jefferson, who in recent years has been the quintessential valuable veteran role player — including helping the 2016 Cavaliers to a title — has decided to walk away from the game.
Jefferson made the announcement official on Instagram, in a post where he touchingly talks about the passing of his father recently as well (he was shot in a drive-by shooting).
View this post on Instagram
Well here’s my first post! In the last month I’ve dealt with two life changing events back to back. My decision to move on from basketball and the tragic passing of Big Rich. The support of my family and friends have been huge. This video was taken after he bbq’d for about 20 people, something he would do a few times every summer. All I would do is tell people that I was having people over to my house and the next question was “Is Big Rich on the grill?” He really was a true OG. I’m going to miss all his one-liners, his cooking and his ability to make a whole room laugh. Until next time!!!! #RIPPLAYAPLAYA #tripleOG PAPA REALLY WAS A ROLLING STONE!!! 😂😂✊🏽
Our condolences go out to Jefferson on his loss.
Jefferson was the No. 13 pick out of Arizona back in 2001 by the then New Jersey Nets and was part of that team when it went to back-to-back Finals. He went on to play 17 NBA seasons and played for eight franchises, averaging 22.2 points per game for the Nets back in 2005 and averaging double-digits in scoring in nine of his NBA seasons. In recent years he had been a very valuable role player, particularly for the Cavaliers and LeBron James in their title run. He was a guy Tyrone Lue could trust.
Jefferson will be missed around the league.