Richard Jefferson Q&A

Richard Jefferson is back in town to help Luke Walton with his summer camp. The New Jersey Nets standout is about to represent the USA at the Olympics. He could also be the go-to guy for the Nets with the departure of Kenyon Martin.

Q: What's it like to be back in Tucson?

RJ: "I haven't been back to Tucson in such a long time. Luke Walton and I were talking about that the other day. I haven't been back here in over a year. It's nice to be back."

Q: Thought on the summer league?

RJ: "It's exciting. Arizona has an illustrious basketball history so when you can get the young guys playing with the old guys its gonna be good to watch."

Q: How was it in front of the old fans?

RJ: "The Tucson people are always so loyal. I still stay in contact with a lot of them. It's a lot of fun to come out here and play, and to have a basketball camp. We enjoy Tucson and we hope the people enjoy us."

Q: What do you think of your and Luke Walton's situations, what's going on with your teams?

RJ: "Its tragic what's going on with my team and with his team. Its sad losing Kenyon Martin, one of the best players in the NBA, for a couple of first round picks. They lose Shaquille O'Neal for a couple of players. Those are guys you can't replace, that you really want on your team forever."

Q: How are you feeling?

RJ: "This is the first time I've played in about a month. I just got out of the car ten minutes before I'm about to go into the game."

Q: How about the Olympics?

RJ: "It's a blessing. I never thought I would get this opportunity in my career. I'm looking forward to representing my country and my family. Hopefully we'll go up there and win the gold and continue the USA basketball tradition."

Q: What do you think of some of the guys that have backed out. Did you ever think about it?

RJ: "There are a lot of things going on around the world that might make guys back up. But for me it is an opportunity to improve my game and learn from great players and great coaches."

Q: Are you surprised by the other player's fears?

A: "I'm not really surprised. Just look at the way things are around the world. We're the most hated country in the world playing for the most notable team, so obviously there is gonna be a target on you. It's just a matter of taking extra precautions." Q: "You and Luke have always been close, how often do you guys talk?

A: "He's my best friend. I talk to him three or four times per week. We still talk everyday. I still talk to Jason Gardner, Jason Terry, I talked to Miles Simon three or four days ago. It's definitely a family. We all still stay in contact. We all want to see each other do their best."

Q: Do the Nets care whether you play in the Olympics?

A: "I don't care what they say. They're trading away our team. They might trade me tomorrow as far as I know."

Q: Are there any special places you wanted to hit up while here? Anything going to do?

A: "Los Betos. That's all I want to do. I just want some good Mexican food, you can't get it out there on the East Coast. But other than that I'm just gonna hang out, maybe go to one or two watering holes."

Notes:

Jefferson was guarded most of the night by Chris Rodgers. The Wildcat junior really dominated in the first half, but Jefferson eventually took over, scoring 17 in the final 20 minutes. He finished with 27 points to 26 for Rodgers, who had just five in the 2nd half. Jefferson's Watson Chevrolet won 103-77 over Rodger's Fidelity National.


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