模板:Two other uses Richard Allen Jefferson (June 21, 1980, Los Angeles, California) is a 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) American professional basketball player. He plays small forward for the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association.
Jefferson performs extensive community service ranging from working at soup kitchens to volunteering to play basketball with kids in New York City. His parents were both Christian missionaries and he moved around frequently growing up.
Jefferson is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. He is known for his all-around game and superior athleticism, and is one of the preeminent small forwards in the NBA today. Jefferson's nickname is RJ, which is tattooed on his shoulder.
Jefferson played college basketball at the University of Arizona. He was drafted as the 13th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets, but was traded to New Jersey along with the draft rights to Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong in exchange for the draft rights to Eddie Griffin. It was a trade that ultimately favored the Nets. Jefferson is currently in his fifth season with the Nets and was a key element of their back-to-back Eastern Conference Championship teams of 2002 and 2003. In addition, Jefferson was a member of the USA Olympic basketball team in during the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Jefferson missed the majority of the 2004-2005 regular season after rupturing a ligament in his left wrist, an injury he claimed occurred when Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups purposely undercut him on a layup attempt during a game on December 27, 2004. Jefferson ended up missing 49 games, but returned to action for the first round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat. Prior to suffering the injury, Jefferson had missed only five games in his three NBA seasons. Jefferson had been enjoying his best professional season, averaging 22.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. Completely healthy now, Jefferson remains an intergral part of the Nets and one of the "Fantastic 4" along with teammates Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Nenad Krstic. Through the 2005-2006 season, Jefferson has continued to perform at a high level and has established himself as one of the NBA's most versatile players.