Since retiring from the NBA at age 42, Richard Jefferson has returned to an NBA court for the first time. A Las Vegas Summer League game was being refereed, not to be played.
A former Net and NBA champion, Jefferson officiated the second quarter of the Knicks-Trail Blazers game on Monday at Thomas & Mack Arena.
As a result of my deep admiration and admiration for the officials, I consented to do it. There is no doubt in my mind that they are crucial to our game,” remarked ESPN commentator Jefferson. “Monty McCutchen sent me a few texts.” Bob Delaney sent me a series of SMS. As a result of my friendships with Scott Foster and Zach Zarba, I was receiving texts from these men.
In other words, it’s an incredible opportunity for me to come out here and just run around for a little bit while learning. Anyone who wants to criticize the officials should first referee a high school game. Then you could have a different perspective.”
To prepare for his one-off cameo part, Jefferson attended five meetings lasting an hour and a half each.
And Jefferson was struck by the irony of officiating his first NBA game against the New York Knicks. His record against the Nets as a player and his reputation as a Nets announcer were intertwined, and he was well-known among their fans.
— SB Nation (@SBNation) July 12, 2022
“I don’t have a problem with Knicks supporters. ” In Jefferson’s joke, he said, “I understand when they see my face, they can get frustrated because of all the years of pain that we tormented them through.” “I’m not a fan of the Knicks.
The Knicks, as the local team, play a role in the rivalry, just as they do with Ohio State-Michigan, UCLA-USC, and Duke-North Carolina. There will always be a rivalry between the Nets and the Knicks because we are the Nets.
You can count on me to lean into it, to play with that energy because it will always be there. “I have nothing but admiration for everyone in the Knicks family.”
Even if he enjoys trolling them. Courtside, the Knicks’ executive team engaged in some lighthearted joking.
It’s just a tiny bit.” Thibodeau was joking about, instructing Jefferson to blow his whistle, and “just having some fun,” Jefferson recalled. “As I already stated, it was an incredible experience.”
Richard Jefferson is making his officiating debut in Knicks vs Trail Blazers Live Now on ESPN 2 pic.twitter.com/9pki24Q61q
— NBA (@NBA) July 12, 2022
A chorus of jeers erupted from the Knicks crowd when Jefferson was mentioned. Jefferson’s interactions with fans were amusing to the NBA’s Senior Vice President and Head of Referee Development and Training, McCutchen
“They had a great time. McCutchen chuckled, “I think we even caught Rich waving at one point. If he had chosen a career in officiating, I’m not sure we’d accept it, but we’ll definitely do so in these circumstances.”
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