Former NBA forward Richard Jefferson believes his 25-year-old self would “destroy” Boston Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward.
Jefferson and Hayward spoke on Instagram Live as the NBA remains in a hiatus. Hayward says Jefferson wouldn't be able to defeat him one-on-one since his game was running on the wing and catching passes from Hall of Famer Jason Kidd:
At 25, Richard Jefferson was averaging 19.5 points per game for the New Jersey Nets. His best years as a pro came with the Nets, where he played seven seasons and appeared in 489 games, averaging 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists.
Along with Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Kerry Kittles, Jefferson and the Nets went to two-straight NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003, losing both times. The first loss came at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, while the second defeat was to the San Antonio Spurs.
In 1,181 career NBA games, Jefferson averaged 12.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He was part of the 2016 Cavs team which won the championship over the Golden State Warriors. That Cavs team became the first club in NBA history to erase a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals.
When he was 25, Gordon Hayward was putting up 19.7 points for the Utah Jazz. This was before his foot injury. Hayward's best year as a pro was in 2016-17 when he averaged 21.9 points and made his first and lone All-Star team.
Kudos to Hayward and Jefferson for keeping NBA fans entertained during the coronavirus hiatus. Hopefully, games are played in the summer after the virus dies down.