After saying immediately after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA title that he was retiring, Richard Jefferson might not be done with basketball after all.
Earlier today, at the Cavs’ championship parade, Jefferson asked the fans in attendance if he should play another year. The crowd cheered loudly in response and he then said “If you guys want me to play one more year, I’ll play one more year.”
Here’s video of Jefferson’s comments via Hayden Grove of scout.com:
Richard Jefferson might've just unretire: "If you guys want me to play one more year, I'll play one more year." pic.twitter.com/SKtKFZnpAs— Hayden Grove (@H_Grove) June 22, 2016
Jefferson can’t really be held 100 percent accountable for what he’s saying at the parade. It’s a very emotional moment, he’d likely been drinking along with the rest of the team and he doesn’t need to make his decision right at this moment. Interestingly, though, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on a podcast with ESPN’s Zach Lowe that Jefferson was walking back the retirement talk the night Cleveland won it all.
For the Cavs, Jefferson coming back could work. He was really effective when they needed him to be and the Cavs don’t have a lot of other realistic options to find useful wings. The issue, though, is that he just turned 36 and he’s at that age when he could drop off at anytime. Plus, with the cap rising, he maybe could leverage himself into slightly bigger contract than he could get from the Cavs.
Some clarity will probably come in a few days regarding Jefferson’s status, but his return seems more likely now than it did right after Game 7.