Even as the dog days of summer settle in, there’s always a random spark that changes the monotony. As the NBA Summer League is five days away from concluding and having peaked in its on-court action and courtside cameos, Richard Jefferson’s sudden appearance as a referee was the talk of social media conversation Monday night.
After several sessions to prepare for his refereeing debut, the former NBA vet turned ESPN analyst officiated the second quarter of Monday’s matchup between the New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers– an ironic occurrence given Jefferson’s best playing days being with the ex-New Jersey Nets and his history of criticizing the Knicks.
“It’s been amazing because I love the game of basketball,” Jefferson said. “I like talking about the game of basketball, so now I get an opportunity to learn a whole new piece of the game. That’s like my dream, for a basketball junkie, to sit in there and see how the referees think, how they talk, how they act, how they work together as a team. That type of stuff to me is so beneficial.”
While Jefferson’s actual performance was far from perfect, it certainly was when it came to inspiring takes from our social media timelines.
In all seriousness, salute to Richard Jefferson for taking on this task and using it as a way to further educate himself and the fans on what it’s like to officiate at a high level.