Former Wildcat Richard Jefferson discusses Retirement

June 19, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson (24) passes the ball against Golden State Warriors center Marreese Speights (5) in the first half in game seven of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
June 19, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson (24) passes the ball against Golden State Warriors center Marreese Speights (5) in the first half in game seven of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Championship, and fittingly, Former Wildcat Richard Jefferson announced his retirement shortly after. Teammates are asking him to change his mind.

Perfect timing! You go out a champ after 15 seasons in the NBA, and you announce it when the whole world is watching. Richard Jefferson says his team is asking him not to retire, so we will see if this sticks or it was just an ‘in the moment’ declaration.

He was interviewed post game in the locker room and had this to say to Fox sports reporter Allie Clifton:

Then he was interviewed after a shower and dressing into street clothes, and these were his comments so we will see if his statement in the locker room sticks:

UPDATE 10:00 a.m. PST 6/22/16: Parade Day was on Wednesday, June 22nd in Cleveland and there were at least a million fans in attendance. On SportsCenter, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that he spoke to Jefferson and that Richard told him that he may be able to be talked out of retiring and that he could stand to get three times what he made this year to give it one more year.

UPDATE 2:07 p.m. PST 6/22/16: Richard Jefferson IS NOT RETIRING…okay there you have it!

Richard played at Arizona for three years, 1998-2001, he made an average of 52.8 percent of his field goal attempts and 36.8 percent on average in his 3-pointers. On March 10, 2012, Jefferson was inducted into the Pac-12 Basketball Hall of Honor during the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament.  Here are Jefferson’s full college stats:


Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/20/2016.

ZonaZealots writer Brad Malone highlighted Jefferson’s top five moments in his college career. He included the buzzer-beater against Washington in 1999, and his college career-high point totals against USC and Washington the following season.

Richard Jefferson is 35 years old, and he will turn 36 on the 22nd of June. After 15 seasons in the League playing for his seventh team, he finally became an NBA Champion on June 19th. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the 1st round as the thirteenth overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. The Rockets traded him, along with Jason Collins, and Brandon Armstrong to the New Jersey Nets for Eddie Griffin. He played seven seasons with the Nets.

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In 2003, Richard competed in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest  and in 2004 Summer Olympics, he was a member of the USA Men’s Olympic basketball team.

Jefferson actually played for the Golden State Warriors in 2011-13 and wore the No. 44. It was the only team he played for in the NBA that he wore jersey No. 44 (his college jersey number), all the other teams he played for, he wore the jersey number 24. Overall he averaged 49.1% of his field goals!

Instead of running through all his Pro stats, let’s just list them:

7 seasonsNJN489174992936.475286.3382650.4972349.7776291998262714864381838507
3 seasonsSAS2036147798.460274.401524.498394.741130679809320108862264
1 seasonMIL822939537.439116.397421.453417.8055731737419966141607
1 seasonUTA822213294.450123.409171.484120.741182012191305614831
2 seasonsGSW781148133.43647.37986.47562.70513147160642614375
1 seasonCLE741326143.45866.38277.55458.66715113128593314410
1 seasonDAL741244144.44466.42678.46278.68425158183613211432

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/20/2016.

must read: Arizona Basketball: Richard Jefferson: Top 5 Moments as a Wildcat

Whether Richard Jefferson actually quit his job on TV after he won the finals or whether his teammates talk him into one more season for a repeat is yet to be definitively in stone. Either way, we would like to thank our Cat for all the entertainment and congratulate the new NBA Champion. BearDown!