Whether there will be an NBA season or not remains to be seen but do not tell that to San Antonio Spurs’ Richard Jefferson.
After a full season with San Antonio, and starting off strong last season, Jefferson trailed off dramatically in the regular season to the point of seeing minimal playing time in the playoffs versus the Memphis Grizzlies. Of course this drew the ire of Spurs fans.
But now that the NBA is in a lockout and teams are forbidden to communicate with their players, for any Spurs’ front office personnel reading this post, take solace in knowing Jefferson is working out and staying prepared to get back on the court at a moments notice.
“You have to approach it like the season is going to start on time,’’ said Jefferson, a regular at the annual gathering of former players to celebrate the past and embrace the future of Arizona basketball. “That’s what I am doing. Usually, you’re getting in shape right now, and then after Labor Day you start to kick it up a notch.’’
And speaking of the lockout, Jefferson had to say the players are ready for a long offseason and prepared this time around as opposed to the 1998 lockout.
“The scary part is that in 1998, when there were (32 games) lost, it didn’t get the player’s attention … and now that we are more prepared and have a better understanding of the system than we did back then, that’s not going to get our attention either,’’ Jefferson said.
As Spurs fans, let alone NBA fans in general, wait with bated breath in the hopes the lockout will not eat into the upcoming season, this should also be a message to fans to expect their favorite players from a not so timely return to the court which probably won’t sit well with them as well.
Speaking of news not sitting well, Jefferson did have this to say about public enemy number one on most Spurs fans most-disliked players list – Jason Terry – and him walking away with an NBA title.
“I’m happy for him, and it was tough because I was rooting for JT (who plays for Dallas), Mike Bibby (Miami), J. Kidd (Jason Kidd, a former teammate in New Jersey who also plays for Dallas). I was happy either way. He (Terry) got that tattoo (of the NBA trophy on his bicep) and that helped him out.’’
As if Spurs fans needed another reason to remain cold towards Jefferson.