Richard Jefferson used the New York Knicks as a punchline about his retirement, and now the Knicks have fired back with a very official response. Jefferson, a former NBA player who now works in broadcasting, said he knew it was time to retire when he only got an offer from the Knicks.
It was a funny line during Sunday’s YES Network broadcast of Knicks-Nets in Brooklyn, one that highlights the bleak outlook many in the NBA have about playing for the franchise. But according to the Knicks, the anecdote — that Jefferson was offered a contract from the Knicks and choose retirement over wearing a blue and orange jersey — isn’t true.
The team’s official public relations account tweeted on Monday that Jefferson was not offered a deal during the past two summers.
For clarification purposes, it is not true that the New York Knicks offered Richard Jefferson a contract in either the summer of 2018 or 2019.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) November 25, 2019
NBA team public relations accounts on Twitter are used for official announcements of injuries, signings and other details.Some, in fact, are locked so only reporters can see the tweets, which may include practice details and other information. Public denials about contract negotiations are usually not those details, so this is exceedingly strange.
Jefferson responded almost immediately, quote tweeting the denial and essentially saying he’s anticipating another offer next summer, too.
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) November 25, 2019
It’s extremely curious that the Knicks decided to respond to this nearly a full day later, and well after the initial buzz over the comment subsided. But now it’s news again, and Jefferson got another chance to make jokes at the team’s expense.