Richard Jefferson issues apology to Knicks over contract offer joke
Former NBA star and current basketball analyst Richard Jefferson issued an “apology” to the New York Knicks for some comments that he made during the YES Network’s broadcast of their matchup against the Brooklyn Nets last Sunday.
Well, sort of.
Jefferson hosted a monologue on ESPN’s “The Jump” to clarify the comments as a “joke,” saying that he was sorry that members of the Knicks front office had to issue an official statement on the matter. He did not, however, apologize to the fan base for jumping on the troll train.
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1. Let me say thank you to @rachel_nichols and @espn for allowing me to be the first athlete to host THE JUMP. 2. Wrote my first monologue and I might have apologized to the Knicks. As for the Knicks fans I don’t care lol… Remember it’s called SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT 😂🤷🏽♂️
Jefferson stated during the broadcast that he elected to remain retired rather than sign a contract with the Knicks, a statement that he says was taken out of context.
This led to the Knicks issuing a formal denial that they ever offered Jefferson a contract.
For clarification purposes, it is not true that the New York Knicks offered Richard Jefferson a contract in either the summer of 2018 or 2019.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) November 25, 2019
Although Jefferson made the comments mostly in jest, they set off yet another firestorm of criticism against Knicks management in light of recent events.
New York traded Kristaps Porzingis in order to open up a second max slot for free agency this past summer. However, they failed to hit on any of their main targets, with both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant signing with the Nets instead.
In some ways, Jefferson’s comments seemed to add fuel to the “nobody wants to play for the Knicks” fire. After all, Durant already shed some light on the ‘Bockers not being “cool” like they once were.
Knicks fans have plenty to be frustrated about these days. Jefferson’s comments might be the least of their worries. He indicated as much on Wednesday.