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Richard Jefferson stands by comment that he’ll go ‘championship hunting’ as a free agent

Dec 21, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Richard Jefferson Jazz AP

Richard Jefferson is in his 13th NBA season, and for the first time in his career will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

After earning over $100 million in salary, you can understand why money will be the least of his concerns when signing what may be his final contract.

Jefferson was open in saying that he’ll be “championship hunting” when deciding where to play next, a comment that can rub some fans the wrong way. But Jefferson stood by it, explaining that there’s no loyalty from teams to players, and that everyone wants the chance to compete for the game’s ultimate prize.

From Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune:

“I wouldn’t say I’m unapologetic, but who doesn’t want to win a championship?” Jefferson said when asked Friday about his comments to former NBA player and analyst Kenny Smith.

“If I get an opportunity to play for a championship team, I’m going to go hunting for that,” Jefferson, who believes he has two or three years left as a player, told Smith. “I have no loyalty. I’m not one of those guys that played for the same team for 15 years like a Reggie Miller, who has to decide whether or not he’s going to do that. No. I’m a gun for hire.”

It seems that players with established Hall of Fame careers are the ones that receive the most grief by trying to chase a ring in the twilight of their playing days. Jefferson certainly isn’t at that level, and after having played for five different teams already, one more isn’t going to make a difference in his story unless he’s able to help it complete a championship season.

  1. edwardemanuelson - Dec 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Wow, I actually LOVE these comments, but as a Spurs fan I must add a buyer beware. They went Championship hunting with a big trade for him and gave him a large role on a pretty good team, and it was a complete disaster for both sides. You might say he was exposed in that sense.

    In a limited role, for bottom dollar, sure. RJ is worth no more, and no less on a good team. He’s a positive in the locker room, also.

    • antistratfordian - Dec 22, 2013 at 1:37 AM

      He was exposed or Pop was exposed?

      • edwardemanuelson - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:29 AM

        RJ was exposed. The Spurs improved and have returned back to form since handing him off to Golden State. It was just a bad move from the start for both sides. Pop is still the best coach in the league.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Nah. Jefferson was pretty much the same guy he’d always been. What was odd was the way Pop was super enthusiastic about him – saying he embodied everything he’d want in a Spurs player. Nothing in Jefferson’s history suggested that.

  2. JMClarkent - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    This is exactly why I despise Tyrone Corbin. RJ is older and a FA after the season, yet for some reason Corbin gives him (and Marvin Williams, also in his last year) valuable minutes that Evans, Kantner and Burkes need to develop.

    If they are not showcasing RJ and Marv in order to enhance their trade value (kind of like sitting on both Jefferson and Milsap, who they let walk for nothing) then I really don’t see the bigger picture.

  3. rgledz - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    He still plays??

  4. tonystrong - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Richard Jefferson is no Lebron but he’s a serviceable player who has put a lot of years in the league and has played at a high level at times. I don’t see a problem with him saying he’d like to finish his career on winner, especially considering he started his career on a winner and on the greatest Nets teams the tri-state area has ever seen. This is a non-story. A veteran wanting to play for a winner to get a ring as his career dwindles away? I’m shocked!

  5. timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 21, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    LOL at RJ putting Reggie Miller in the same conversation as himself.

  6. jennsanz - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I’m a gun for hire” what type of gun?

    • drago2012 - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      Never mind he is only a .22 cal!! He is not 357 magnum like LeBron.

      • jennsanz - Dec 21, 2013 at 8:14 PM

        with a lot of rust…. lol even without you spurs still made it to the finals.. There are a lot of new players emerging with a lot of potential.. I’m not a hater just sayin’.

  7. drago2012 - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Maybe he is Barney Fife with only one bullit!!!

  8. cosme27 - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    So he wants to play for the miami heat

  9. jzone954 - Dec 21, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    So basically he’s taking his talents to south beach

  10. 00maltliquor - Dec 21, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    …but are the Championship caliber teams gonna be hunting for him??

  11. cantonbound13 - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    So he’s pulling a LeBron & taking the easy route, nice

  12. kanemoney - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    The list of teams that qualify is pretty short… I just hope he gets minutes wherever he goes. If you get a championship that you did nothing towards earning it – what’s the point? Darko has a ring for goodness sake…

  13. gmailfan57 - Dec 23, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Sure Richard. Just sign for the league minimum and I’m sure Miami would be happy to have you.

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