Nets forward talks about loss to Italy, going for gold, and NBA's best player
Richard Responds

Aug. 4 -- Richard Jefferson always saw himself reaching the Olympics. He just didn't think it would be this soon. But the Nets forward plans on making the most of his shot at Olympic gold. Jefferson answered your questions following the United States' last-second win over Germany on Wednesday. Jefferson had four points, six rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal in five minutes in the victory.

What do you enjoy most about being on this wonderful journey with these guys on the U.S. team?
(Nisha, Greenville, Miss.)

Jefferson: "Getting better and seeing what we can accomplish as a team. The Argentinian team, for example, is the same team as from last summer, and they're carrying that squad over into the Olympics. We put together a new team every year. So it's a unique set of challenges, trying to put a team together in a month, but as we go along, we'll get better as a team."

Jefferson signs for the fans in Cologne, Germany.
(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE)
A simple question, but what are the key issues to be (addressed) after (the loss to Italy)? What needs to be changed to win the gold?
(Manish, Kearny, N.J.)

Jefferson: "Well, again, that Italian team was a team that plays together every single summer. They understand each other very well; the players, the coaches, everyone. As we play together we'll get more comfortable with one another. We're always the most talented team every year, it's just a matter of putting it together."

Who is your best friend on the USA Team?
(David, Temple City, Calif.)

Jefferson: "Ooh, I don't know. I hung out with Tim (Duncan) and Allen (Iverson) a bunch last summer, so we're cool. And I've been playing with Carlos Boozer since we were both 16 or 17 years old. So I'm pretty tight with him as well."

How do you feel about the sudden changes the Nets organization have done, and do you feel this is a team you want to be part of?
(Walden, Orange, N.J.)

Jefferson: "No comment. I plead the fifth."

Just between the two of us, who do you think is the best player in the NBA? You can include yourself, but only if you honestly feel that way. :-)
(Rod, Alexandria, Va.)

Jefferson: "Tim Duncan. Just seeing everything he does, here and last summer, I'd have to say he's the most dominant player in the NBA. Other than that, Kidd is the best guard and Kobe (Bryant) is the most clutch player in the NBA."

What kind of plyometric exercises do you do for your calves to increase your vertical jump?
(Tubby, Manitoba, Canada)

Jefferson: "Everything I do is God given. I have a tattoo that says 'God given, self made.' I do everything I can to maximize my talent."

Best, Richard Jefferson. How has playing with Jason Kidd impacted your NBA career?
(Pieter, Kapelle, Netherlands)

Jefferson: "Jason is the reason why I'm playing with the USA team this summer. His passing, his work ethic. Everything he's done has set me up for success. I couldn't have had a better teammate, and a person, to start my career with."