Jefferson playing for the Spurs.
|No. 44 - Golden State Warriors|
|Born||June 21, 1980|
Los Angeles, California
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in|
|Listed weight||225 lbs|
|NBA Draft||2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13th|
|Selected by the Houston Rockets|
|2001-2008||New Jersey Nets|
|2009-2012||San Antonio Spurs|
|2012-present||Golden State Warriors|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Competitor for the United States|
|Profile at NBA.com|
Richard Allen Jefferson (born June 21, 1980 in Los Angeles, California, USA) is an American professional basketball Small forward who plays in the NBA for the Golden State Warriors. Jefferson was born Los Angeles, California and was raised in Phoenix, Arizona. His parents were both Christian missionaries and he moved around frequently growing up.
High school and college
Jefferson attended Moon Valley High School in west Phoenix, Arizona, where he was an integral part of the varsity basketball team that won the 4A State Championship in 1998. He played college basketball at the University of Arizona.
New Jersey Nets
Jefferson played seven seasons with the New Jersey Nets and was a key element of their back-to-back Eastern Conference Championship teams of 2002 and 2003. In addition, Jefferson was a member of the USA Olympic basketball team in during the 2004 Summer Olympics. Jefferson also competed in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 2003.
Jefferson began his career as a substitute small forward for Keith Van Horn and showed great defensive skills and all-around ability. Because of his potential, and Van Horn's conflict with power forward Kenyon Martin, the Nets traded Van Horn to the Philadelphia 76ers and trusted Jefferson as a starter. Jefferson blossomed in the role, becoming a good mid- and long-range shooter in addition to his slashing ability. On August 13, 2004, Jefferson signed a six-year, $78,000,000 contract extension with the Nets.
Jefferson missed the majority of the 2004-05 regular season after rupturing a ligament in his left wrist, an injury he claimed occurred when Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups purposely undercut him on a layup attempt during a game on December 27, 2004. Jefferson ended up missing 49 games, but returned to action for the first round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat. Prior to suffering the injury, he had missed only five games in his three NBA seasons. Jefferson had been enjoying his best professional season, averaging 22.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. Through the 2005-06 season, Jefferson has continued to perform at a high level and has established himself as one of the NBA's most versatile players. On January 21, 2007, Jefferson's knee was injured once again and decided to have ankle surgery. During that time the reserve small forward, Boštjan Nachbar started in place of Jefferson. After missing around six weeks, he was back in the lineup. His absence proved to be a major setback for the struggling Nets, who surged back into playoff contention once Jefferson returned.
In August 2007, Richard Jefferson pledged $3.5 million toward the University of Arizona's future basketball and volleyball practice facility. UA officials believe it is the largest donation ever from a former player.
He started the 2007–08 season in the best form of his NBA career. In the first 7 games, he averaged 26.9ppg (good enough for 4th in the league), 5.6 rpg and 2.4apg, while also notching up 1.3 steals, 97.1 FT% and 49.1 FG%. On October 31, in a game against the Chicago Bulls, Jefferson injured his right wrist slightly thumping his chest following a clutch three-pointer. The Nets went on to win the game in overtime. On December 4 he passed Kerry Kittles to become the Nets' second all-time leading scorer.
On June 26, 2008 it was announced that Jefferson was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. He was not happy with the trade at first because he planned on being a Net until retirement. However he has since expressed enthusiasm about playing alongside Michael Redd.