NBA officiating has been no stranger to some rough opinions by fans, players, and those in the media. Richard Jefferson is a former player who wants to help evolve how the game is officiated. Jefferson currently has a job with ESPN, where along with Kendrick Perkins, has become a welcomed sight in the coverage of the NBA. On Monday night, however, Jefferson started his side gig. Being an official for the league.
Richard Jefferson is making his officiating debut in Knicks vs Trail Blazers Live Now on ESPN 2 pic.twitter.com/9pki24Q61q
— NBA (@NBA) July 12, 2022
As the NBA Summer League continues to gain popularity every year, tonight o the officials joined in on the spotlight as Jefferson debuted in a nightcap matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and the New York Knicks.
Why do this?
1. Tremendous amount of knowledge about our game that I’ve learned sitting in classes with the best refs in the world
2.I do this because not many people would dare put themselves in this position. The more info I have the more informed I am as a broadcaster
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) July 11, 2022
Jefferson let fans know why he decided to train to become an NBA official on his Twitter account on Monday. Jefferson stated, “Why do this? 1. Tremendous amount of knowledge about our game that I’ve learned sitting in classes with the best refs in the world 2. I do this because not many people would dare put themselves in this position. The more info I have, the more informed I am as a broadcaster.”
Seeing former players step up to take on a heavily scrutinized role by everyone who watches the NBA is a step in the right direction for the league and the players. Kudos to Richard Jefferson for doing something that many people in his shoes wouldn’t even give a second thought about.