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Richard Jefferson announces retirement

Richard Jefferson

Richard Jefferson has confirmed that he is retiring from the NBA after a 17-year playing career. Jefferson, who recently lost his father, posted to Instagram Saturday afternoon with a video tribute to his late dad, while also announcing he’s done playing professional basketball.

Richard Jefferson played his college ball at The University of Arizona. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 13th overall pick in the 2001 Draft, but was traded to the New Jersey Nets on draft night.

Jefferson’s best years as a pro came with the Nets. He played seven seasons in New Jersey, appearing in 489 games and averaging 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists. Along with Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Kerry Kittles, Richard Jefferson and the Nets went to two-straight NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003, losing both times. The first loss came to the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, while the second defeat was to the San Antonio Spurs.

The Nets traded Jefferson to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2008. He played one season in Milwaukee and posted 19.6 points per game. The Bucks then traded Jefferson to the San Antonio Spurs in 2009. The small forward played 203 games with the Spurs before getting traded to the Golden State Warriors in 2012.

After playing one season with the Utah Jazz and another with the Dallas Mavericks, Richard Jefferson signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015, and became a fan favorite. He was part of the 2016 team which won the championship over the Golden State Warriors. The Cavs became the first club in NBA history to erase a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals.

Jefferson was traded by the Cavs to the Denver Nuggets at the 2018 February trade deadline. In 1,181 NBA games, Richard Jefferson averaged 12.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.