OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Richard Jefferson is an NBA champion, and that's how he says his career will end.

The Cleveland forward told Fox Sports Ohio after Game 7 of the NBA Finals that he is retiring. Jefferson turns 36 on Tuesday, and just completed his 15th NBA season.

Jefferson was the No. 13 pick in the 2001 NBA draft. He spent his first seven seasons with New Jersey, and also played for San Antonio, Milwaukee, Utah, Golden State and Dallas before coming to Cleveland.

After the Cavaliers beat Golden State on Sunday night for the title, Jefferson offered emotional praise for finals MVP LeBron James, saying he owes his ''entire basketball career to him.''

''To be able to get on a team and walk in with a guy that says he's going to be able to carry you and bring me here, I owe everything, every shot, every play, everything I've ever done to that man,'' Jefferson said.