The NBA Finals are complete, and while Cleveland's Game 7 rally cemented LeBron's legacy on the league's Mount Rushmore, he didn't win the Cavaliers' first title by himself. Credit goes to teammates like Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, Richard Jefferson and others.
Jefferson's impact is especially incredible when you consider that at 36 years old, he's one of the oldest players in the league.
Or at least he was one of the oldest players in the league, since following Game 7 of the Finals, he told multiple outlets Sunday (including Fox Sports Ohio) that he is planning on retiring.
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Richard Jefferson on FOX Sports OH : "I am retiring"— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) June 20, 2016
Richard Jefferson has announced he is retiring, hell of a way to go out.— Sports Nation Ohio (@SN_Ohio) June 20, 2016
Thank you RJ.
A very, very, happy Richard Jefferson just told me in Cavs room he's retiring. "I'm done. I'm done." And then -- "I need a cigar"— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) June 20, 2016
Again, given his advanced age (at least for a basketball player) this isn't totally surprising; keep in mind Jefferson battled with Steph Curry's dad Dell in his rookie season in 2002, and his best friend Luke Walton ... was just named a head coach in the NBA. Time really does stop for no man, and Jefferson isno different.
Still, if this is good-bye, it's safe to say that Jefferson will be remembered incredibly fondly by those in Cleveland. He served as a veteran back-bone for the city's first championship team in five decades, and in arguably their most important game of the season stepped up in the biggest way possible. With Kevin Love out in Game 3, Jefferson got the start in his place and played 33 minutes, scoring nine points and grabbing eight boards.
There's no better way to go out than as a champ, and it appears as though Jefferson has done just that.