Chat with Richard Jefferson

Chat with Richard Jefferson
Richard Jefferson answers your questions

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October 10, 2008

Bucks.com sits down with Richard Jefferson for their latest installment of the Friday Mailbag!

Thanks to all who submitted questions – if your question wasn’t answered this time, please try again next time as we’ll announce another player chat soon.

Q: Richard – for two years I’ve been saying that I would like the bucks to trade for Jefferson, ( I think he will be a perfect fit for the bucks). Do you think you will gel with Bogut and Redd? – John F.

Richard Jefferson: I believe so. I’ve been blessed to play with a lot of talented players, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, Alonzo Mourning, Vince Carter. All very talented and all very different. I believe I have a history of gelling well with other talented players.

Q: I was disheartened to hear Gilbert Arenas say what he said about NBA players not wanting to play in Milwaukee. Do you think his statement is true? If so, is there anything the organization can do besides win to make Milwaukee a more appealing place to play? – Leslie F.

RJ: I want to direct people back to when I first went to New Jersey. Back in 2001 New Jersey wasn’t exactly a hotbed for basketball. The guys there made it a place that people wanted to come play. They had only won 26 games before my rookie season. Over those next few years we made a popular place where guys wanted to come and play basketball. I feel that’s the situation anywhere.

Q: What do you do to enhance your basketball intelligence? – Richard Z.

RJ: Just be a student of the game. It’s no different than anything else, the more you study it, the more you watch it and critique other players and yourself. You need to learn from your mistakes and the other people around you. It’s not different than trying to become a lawyer, professor or doctor, the more you practice the more you think about it and work on your trade, the more intelligent you’ll be.

Q: Hi, RJ. I was devastated to see you traded from NJ, but I know that you’ll be great with the Bucks. What part of your game do you think will shine in the Bucks system? – Rebecca W.

RJ: I think at this point in time my game is pretty much set. I think the Bucks acquired me to have me do things that I already do well – running the floor, playing defense, playing hard every single night, share the ball and be a good teammate. I think those are the things the Bucks are looking to get from me. I’m just going to come here and try to blend in and play the way I normally do.

Q: First off… Welcome to Milwaukee! In your opinion, do you think the Bucks defense will be solid this year with the addition of all the seasoned veterans? – Jeff S.

RJ: I believe it will be improved. But we’re all learning a new system. It’s not one or two guys trying to pick up a system. You have seven or eight guys new here. You also have a new coach trying to teach it to every single player. So even though you have veterans, you’re playing this defense for the first time. That’s going to take some getting used to, but overall I think it’s going to be an improvement.

Q: Do you believe that this Bucks team is good enough to win your division this year? – Kevin C.

RJ: You have to wait and see. I think only time will tell. Injuries and a lot of crazy things can happen. Teams that were picked to finish in the top sometimes don’t gel the way they’re supposed to and trades happen. You never know. I believe that we have a talented team. The most important thing right now is to get better. It’s not about winning a division, it’s not about getting to the playoffs. It’s about getting better and improving every single day for 82 games.

Q: Welcome to Milwaukee Richard we are all excited to have you. I think you guys with Redd, CV and Bogut have the potential to be the most exciting offense in the east. How long do you think it will take for all of you to click? – Nick S.

RJ: That’s something that’s going to take time. Everyone’s excited to be here and everyone’s excited about the opportunities in front of us, but it’s a matter of gelling. We’re all learning a new offensive system. I’m coming into a new one, Michael is coming into a new one and Skiles is teaching a new one. It’s a difficult situation, but right now our defense is what’s going to get us going and I think our offense will come along as the season goes on.

Q: Why do you think Coach Skiles has always wanted you on his team so bad? Do you think he has some kind of secret plan for you? – Jon S.

RJ: No, I wouldn’t say that. I believe that Coach Skiles respects the way I play. Whenever you’re preparing against an individual you do a lot of critiquing of how he plays. You look at people’s last 10 game or last five games and I think he has a respect for me. But that puts pressure on me to live up to what he believes I can do. That’s kind of exciting.

Q: Hey Richard! Glad to have you in town. I hear you spent some time with Joe Alexander this summer. What do you think his biggest strength will be and how much do you think you can help him make that adjustment to life in the NBA? – Johnny G.

RJ: I think life in the NBA is really not that much different than life in college. You have a little less school and a little more basketball, which is something that most people typically enjoy on this level. I think for Joe, it’s a matter of knowledge. Only time can allow you to be the player that you’re going to be. Even people that have great rookie years aren’t capped, they get better their second year. Whatever Joe gives us this year he’s going to continue to improve and continue to work and that’s all you can ask for.

Q: What music do you listen to before games to get you pumped up? – Jordan L.

RJ: I really don’t listen to that much music. My boy who I went to college with whose CD is about to come out, his name is Johnny Ash. His CD is about to come out, that’s who I normally listen to right now because he’s my boy and I’m excited for him. Outside of that, I don’t really listen to music. I’m normally watching tape or joking around with everybody before the game.