Prior to Game 4 of the San Antonio Spurs-Utah Jazz first-round series, Jazz center Al Jefferson remarked that he couldn’t see any team beat the Spurs, let alone the Jazz, and showed ‘mad respect” for San Antonio.
“Right now, they just playing well, man. I ain’t never seen nothing like this,” Jefferson said.
He added: “I’m happy to be in the playoffs. I’m happy to go through what I’m going through right now, because that’s what it’s all about. I just think we’re playing against a team that is at its peak, and I don’t see nobody beating ’em. … It’s a great team. I just take my hat off to ’em. Mad respect.”
Mind you this was before Game 4. The series was not over and the Jazz technically still had a shot at winning the series (thought they were down 3-0). The comments by Jefferson seemingly come off as him simply paying respect to the better team but since the series was not over, C.J. Miles took issue with “Big Al’s” statement.
Miles said the team was put off by Al Jefferson’s pre-Game 4 comments about no one beating the Spurs in the playoffs and San Antonio being better than Utah.
As much as I am glad the Spurs advanced past Utah, I may have to agree with Miles and the rest of the Jazz players here. As I mentioned before, this should not have been said by Jefferson. Utah was not eliminated at that point, there was still a game to play, and you would want your team star to come in with the attitude that the series isn’t over and not seemingly throwing in the towel.
Imagine if Manu Ginobili said something similar if the Spurs were facing elimination. Spurs fans and the team might have an issue with him.
Yes, the Spurs and Tim Duncan did a great job at limiting Jefferson for the most part of the series, so perhaps it was just frustration setting in when Al made the comments.
Nevertheless, these comments should have been made after the series was over and not while it was on-going.
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Should Jefferson had made these comments when the series wasn’t over?