After a 17-year career in the NBA, Richard Jefferson announced his retirement from the NBA Saturday night on Instagram. Jefferson’s decision to step away from basketball comes on the heels of losing his father tragically last month in a drive-by shooting. In a heartwarming post, Jefferson shares his reasons for “moving on from basketball” by featuring video of his late father.
“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,” Jefferson wrote. “The support of my family and friends have been huge.”
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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!!! 😂😂✊🏽
The 13th pick in the 2001 draft out of Arizona, Jefferson starred early for the then-New Jersey Nets before transitioning into a respected veteran reserve during the latter half of his career. Jefferson played 17 seasons in the NBA, winning a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 as a key role player off the bench. The 38-year-old averaged 8.2 minutes per game in 20 appearances with the Denver Nuggets last season and has also played for the Bucks, Spurs, Warriors, Jazz, and Mavericks.