Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Articles tagged: Richard Jefferson

ESPN’s Richard Jefferson has interesting theory about Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook dribbling

Dec 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) in action during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Jefferson thinks he can see right through Russell Westbrook’s ruse.

The Los Angeles Lakers guard Westbrook made a noteworthy comment after a blowout defeat to the Golden State Warriors in Tuesday’s season opener. Westbrook started in Tuesday’s game but was surprisingly brought off the bench for Friday’s preseason finale against Sacramento. The former MVP played just five minutes before exiting with a hamstring injury.

After the Golden State game, Westbrook said that he “absolutely” believed his injury was a result of coming off the bench, thus throwing him off his usual pregame rhythm.

Westbrook’s comments led to an interesting theory from the former NBA forward Jefferson (now a host for ESPN). On Wednesday’s episode of “NBA Today,” Jefferson said he thinks Westbrook was trying to send a message to the Lakers on what will happen if they try to bring him off the bench during the season.

Jefferson is probably onto something here. Westbrook’s hamstring was well enough for him to play 31 minutes and put up 19 points against the Warriors just four days later. Meanwhile last year, Westbrook also claimed that he suffered a different injury when then-coach Frank Vogel benched him.

The former MVP Westbrook is prideful player who has started in 1,005 of 1,022 career games (with all 17 bench appearances coming during his 2008-09 rookie year in Oklahoma City). Things may indeed get ugly if new Lakers coach Darvin Ham has any in-season benchings planned for Westbrook.

Steve Kerr responds to Richard Jefferson about Warriors’ video team

Steve Kerr in a blue warmup jacket

Mar 20, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr encourages his players during the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after a clip of Draymond Green punching teammate Jordan Poole went viral, Richard Jefferson said the team’s entire video crew should be fired. On Friday, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr responded to that suggestion.

“By the way, our video guys had a message for Richard,” Kerr told ESPN during the Warriors’ preseason game. “They think he should be fired. Yeah, I might tweet that later.”

Kerr walked away from the on-court interview with an ear-to-ear grin. And while it was a solid snap-back, it’s not as if the Warriors themselves weren’t frustrated with the video leak.

The organization is reportedly “aggressively investigating” the leak and are even considering potential legal action in response.

Shortly after the clip went viral, Green offered a public, albeit it somewhat strange, apology to Poole. The Warriors eventually decided against suspending Green, instead opting to fine him an undisclosed amount.

Green and Poole have spoken since the incident and with the help of Steph Curry, appear to have buried the hatchet. Kerr and Warriors, meanwhile, have yet to uncover the source of the leaked video.

To date, no one from the Warriors’ media department has been terminated or disciplined.

ESPN personality delivered criticism for ESPN+ streaming service

Richard Jefferson smiling

Feb 18, 2022; Cleveland, OH, USA; Former NBA player Richard Jefferson poses for photographers before the Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Wolstein Center. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The shift of many sporting events from cable television to streaming services has led to frustration among viewers, and ESPN’s Richard Jefferson is no exception.

Jefferson made some remarks on “SportsCenter” this week that likely caused executives at ESPN to cringe. While highlights of the EuroBasket tournament were being shown, Jefferson vented about not being able to watch the games and said they need to start airing them on TV. He was quickly reminded that the games are available to stream on ESPN+. That did not matter to the former NBA swingman.

That is exactly how a lot of people feel about having to steam sporting events. There are so many streaming services that it can be simply too much of a hassle for fans to figure out where they can watch a certain game. Many fans also cannot afford it or simply do not want to pay for multiple streaming services each month.

The NFL is streaming “Thursday Night Football” exclusively on Amazon this season, and that has already been a source of frustration for many fans. There was one issue in particular that bothered people during the Chargers-Chiefs game.

ESPN may not be happy about Jefferson’s remarks, but a lot of viewers can relate.

H/T Outkick

Ex-teammate has interesting take on LeBron James’ legacy

LeBron James looking on

Jan 21, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is probably saying, “Et tu, Brute?” to an old teammate.

Former Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson went viral this week for his take on the legacy of James, his teammate on the Cavs from 2015 to 2017, when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers. What set off the debate was an Instagram post by Shaquille O’Neal suggesting that James might be one of the greatest Lakers of all-time.

On an episode this week of “Road Trippin’,” Jefferson came out guns a-blazing against that take.

“LeBron has not done enough as a Laker to be on that list,” said Jefferson. “This is his fourth season [with the Lakers], right? They’ve been there four seasons. Two years, they haven’t made the postseason. One year, they lost in the first round. And one year, they won a championship.

“There hasn’t been a consistent level of greatness,” he went on. “You could win a championship, that’s great. But part of LeBron James being famous for being LeBron James, part of the Lakers organization, is [the] consistent greatness. Not like, oh, one year you’re trash, next year you’re great. No, it’s like, are you consistently those dudes? It just hasn’t intersected [for him on the Lakers].”

Jefferson is right that one championship, though it might on a less-storied franchise, does not make you an all-time great for a Lakers franchise that has won 17 of them. O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Magic Johnson all delivered three or more championships to Los Angeles. Even players from earlier eras (e.g. Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, and George Mikan) and more complementary players (e.g. James Worthy, Jamaal Wilkes, and Pau Gasol) are probably comfortably ahead of James when it comes to the greatest Lakers ever.

While James’ story as a Laker is still being written, the fact of the matter is that the team during the James era has been in the litter box more often than they have been in the winner’s circle. Absent further championship wins, James will not go down as an all-time great Laker (though one top figure in the organization already seems to believe that he is).

Richard Jefferson opposed to 1 change NBA is considering

Richard Jefferson smiling

Feb 18, 2022; Cleveland, OH, USA; Former NBA player Richard Jefferson poses for photographers before the Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Wolstein Center. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

NBA commissioner Adam Silver didn’t fully dismiss the notion that the league could shorten its 82-game season while speaking at a press conference Thursday before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. But former NBA champion and ESPN NBA analyst Richard Jefferson would not be on board with that decision.

During Friday’s edition of ESPN’s “NBA Today,” Jefferson called the idea to shorten the season “absurd.”

“It makes absolutely no sense,” Jefferson said. “Professional sports is not good on your body. It’s supposed to separate the people that can do it from the people that can’t do it.

“And while we do want our best product on the floor, part of greatness is longevity.”

Jefferson also cited the league’s elimination of back-to-back games and the extension of the All-Star break to a full week as reasons why shortening the season is unnecessary.

Silver told reporters that he’s not opposed to shortening the regular season or changing its format if doing so has a direct impact on injuries. The commissioner is not sure if there is a correlation at the moment.

The NBA reportedly has considered shortening its season from 82 games to 78 games and implementing an in-season tournament.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi reported in December that an in-season tournament would begin with pool play as part of the regular-season schedule. Teams with the best records would go on to a single-elimination tournament that would end before Christmas.

Ex-LeBron James teammate trashes Lakers for handling of Frank Vogel firing

Frank Vogel looking on

Former NBA star Richard Jefferson is letting the Los Angeles Lakers have it over their handling of coach Frank Vogel’s firing.

Jefferson, an ESPN analyst, said on Monday’s edition of “NBA Today” that the Lakers are in “utter disarray” and showed “cowardice” in how Vogel was informed of his dismissal.

“We sit up here and we criticize players all the time. A lot of the time, people in the front office can stay kind of hidden,” Jefferson said. “If you just look at the words that [Rob Pelinka] said — ‘Hey, look, today is not going to be a day for fingerpointing’ — what are you talking about? Everyone deserves a piece of this blame pie, if you will. But let’s talk about how cowardice it is. Woj tweeted one minute after the game that Frank Vogel was fired, and then you want to sit here and talk about trust and this and that. The Lakers didn’t even have the decency to inform the coach that won them a championship 18 months ago that they were going to let him go.

“When I look at this franchise right now and the state that they’re in — forget on the court and the disarray. … The Laker organization is in utter disarray before we even start talking about on the court. On the court is a whole other issue, but off the court, this is just utter disarray and it’s disrespectful what they did to Frank Vogel.”

Jefferson is right. Vogel probably knew he was getting fired, but to see the news leak out via the media immediately after his final game stings. The fact that he then had to face the media and answer questions about that report, all while the Lakers had yet to officially tell him anything, is downright disrespectful.

Vogel won a title for the Lakers in 2022, and he was not in charge of building a roster that did not work. He may have deserved his fate, but he also deserved a much more respectful exit.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Jefferson roasts Kendrick Perkins with hilarious line

Kendrick Perkins

Richard Jefferson is a man unafraid to throw some playful jabs or make jokes. In fact, many view him as one of the funniest NBA analysts out there. And on Friday night during the NBA All-Star Weekend celebrity game, he topped himself with a zinger aimed at Kendrick Perkins.

Asked about the last time he played in a game, Jefferson said it was the day he retired. When Perkins was asked the same question, Jefferson stepped in and answered for him. Hilarity ensued.

“First of all, I wouldn’t be playing (in these games),” Perkins said.

“Wait, so RJ says he hasn’t played since he retired. When was the last time you played?” Cassidy Hubbarth asked Perkins.

“About two years before he retired,” Jefferson quipped.

The trio immediately broke out into laugher with no one laughing harder than Perkins himself. And perhaps the element of truth is what made the exchange all the more amusing.

Perkins appeared in just 55 games over his final three seasons in the NBA, which was split due to a stop in the G League. He averaged just 2.5 points per game over that span. His minutes per contest were also down considerably, hovering around the 14.5 range.

It’s not the first time Jefferson and Perkins have had a memorable exchange, either. The duo made headlines when they laughed at the Los Angeles Lakers for their trade deadline failure, while several other playful haymakers have been exchanged in recent years.

Video: Ex-LeBron James teammates laugh at Lakers over trade deadline failure

Richard Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins laughing

It was painfully obvious that the Los Angeles Lakers needed to make a trade to upgrade their roster. With the team ultimately failing to do so before the deadline though, they are getting roasted from all angles right now.

Appearing on ESPN’s “NBA Today” trade deadline special Thursday, retired ex-NBA players Richard Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins got the news that the Lakers did not make a trade and were instead focusing on the buyout market. They responded by laughing hysterically and dapping each other.

On the other end of the table, you can see Ramona Shelburne, who reports on the Lakers and is known to be close with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, looking extremely annoyed at Jefferson and Perkins.

Both Jefferson and Perkins are former teammates of LeBron James, having played with James on the Cleveland Cavaliers. That probably makes their uproarious laughter at the Lakers sting even more.

The Lakers are 26-30 this year and appear to be beyond salvation. But many were expecting them to at least try to get better at the trade deadline. Since they did not however, it is open season for jokes at the Lakers’ expense.

Udonis Haslem slams ESPN analyst for ‘bulls–t’ take on Jokic-Morris incident

Udonis Haslem

The OG of the Miami Heat is speaking out on the incident between Nikola Jokic and Markieff Morris from Monday’s game.

ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson had an Instagram post on Tuesday where he essentially said that Jokic, though wrong for retaliating, would not have done so if Morris had not fouled him first.

“Naw RJ. I disagree,” Haslem commented on the post. “Jokic takes fouls on people like that all the time to stop the break. So idk what the big deal was. Secondly I’ve been in my share of brawls. Dishing and taking. You don’t hit nobody in the back who is walking away after taking one. That’s bulls–t and you better than that bra!!!”

Haslem’s Heat teammates certainly agreed that Jokic was out of pocket for his reaction. The viral photo of them waiting out in the hallway for the Nuggets afterwards shows just as much.

As for Haslem himself, he has definitely seen it all in his 19 seasons in the NBA. Even in his 40s, Haslem is not afraid to go after opponents head-on.

Photo: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Jefferson defends Cavs’ decision to shut down Evan Mobley for summer

Evan Mobley

In a decision that surprised many, the Cleveland Cavaliers are shutting down their star rookie for the rest of the summer. One former Cavs player can understand their logic however.

Cavs center Evan Mobley, who went No. 3 overall in this year’s draft, will reportedly be held out for the remainder of Summer League play. Some questioned why the team was not trying to get Mobley as many reps as possible. Jefferson came to the Cavs’ defense on Sunday, tweeting his support for their plan.

“No top 5 player was made a hero in Summer League,” he posted. “Get a sample size of things needed to work on then get back to work and get ready for season. Love the plan.

Mobley, 20, did get in three games of Summer League action, averaging 11.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in 28.9 minutes per contest. He is also expected to potentially start for the Cavs alongside Jarrett Allen next season.

As for Jefferson, he is now an analyst for the Brooklyn Nets. But he won a title as a member of the Cavs in 2016 and has always been ride-or-die for the team, despite his love-hate relationship with them at times.