One-on-One with Richard Jefferson
Spurs.com's Ben Hunt had the opportunity to sit down and have a light hearted and fun interview with Richard Jefferson. Some of the questions asked were supplied by @spurs Twitter followers.
Ben Hunt: First off Richard thanks, I'm going to throw in some questions from our Twitter followers as well. First one -
From @mdeleon: Did you look up to any former Spurs growing up?
Richard Jefferson: David Robinson was my favorite player growing up. When I first really started watching basketball it was him and Sean Elliott. I really didn't know the relation, you know Sean went to Arizona and all that, I found that out a little later after I had been watching the Spurs so many years. But David Robinson was my guy, he was who I loved to watch.
I can remember my second year in the league, when we were down by 10 and they were about to win the championship. On the free throw line, I looked over to him and sort of said, "now that this is all over, I can tell you, you were my favorite player growing up."
I couldn't tell him before that. So that was cool... kind of cool, even though we were losing. But to have that moment with someone you really looked up to and really respected was pretty cool.
BH: Following along with that, of course David's a Hall of Famer, what a remarkable person and career. From a player looking at another player, how do you see David Robinson and what is his legacy?
RJ: You're asking me... You know when I was a kid I would've picked him over Jordan any day. He was my guy, I just really liked to watch him. He was just a specimen out there. He was so strong, he could run the floor like a deer, always played extremely hard. You know, he was the man.
My parents got me one ticket to watch the Spurs versus the Suns when I was younger, because I was just such a huge David Robinson fan.
But everything that he has earned over the course of his career - the MVPs, the championships, the all-stars, the scoring title all those things... I remember when he scored all those points - 71 - to take the scoring title from Shaq and I was as happy as anybody.
From @TroyJenike: Do you think you're the piece the team needs for #5?
RJ: Whew... that's a little bit of pressure. You know what, I think I'm looking forward to that along with the opportunity of playing with these guys.
I think just trying to be a play maker, that's one of those things people try to look at with the scoring numbers. Last year due to injuries with the team it was tough. I'm really just looking forward to being a part of this group and hopefully relieving a little bit of stress from those guys so hopefully it'll put them in a better position so they don't have to work as hard for some of those things. I think that it will help.
It takes a lot of things after you've won four championships, because they know it takes a lot of things to go your way. You have to be healthy, you have to have some balls go your way to win it, but I believe we have the tools. We're making the right steps.
"I have a problem, I really have a problem when it comes to Mexican food." - Richard Jefferson
photo courtesy of Vanessa Jupe via flickr
BH: We always get this one in one form or another so I'll just get it out of the way. What's your favorite Mexican dish?
RJ: Ah my favorite Mexican dish! You don't understand! I grew up in Phoenix and Southern California so Mexican is my favorite food. Gosh there are so many.
It could be carne asada burritos. It could be steak enchiladas. Refried beans.
Like it could be... gosh there are so many. I love pretty much every type of Mexican food.
I love rolled tacos. I love guacamole.
I have a problem, I really have a problem when it comes to Mexican food.
BH: Well have you found a place in town you like yet?
RJ: I have not but I'm really looking forward to a lot of things. From the food to the weather, San Antonio really makes me feel at home.
From @mr_jt412: How much does winning a championship drive you?
RJ: The last couple of years it has really consumed me. I've been to The Finals twice, I lost in the National Championship to Duke, lost in the Semis and won a Bronze in Greece. I've been so close so many times.
When you're 23 you don't really think about it. When you're 21 in the NBA Finals you don't really think a lot about it. But whenever you get to that 29 year old mark, which I am, you're sort of like "wow."
My best friend Luke Walton had a similar track record. He had lost in The Finals twice and he just won one. I was really happy for him, but to see it right now - it is everything that drives me.