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Richard Jefferson
As told to Chris Mannix
January 30, 2006
NETS FORWARD
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January 30, 2006

Richard Jefferson

NETS FORWARD

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On the Nets' new Big Three

When it was me, Kenyon [Martin] and Jason [ Kidd], we were a much more defense-oriented team. This team, with Vince [Carter], has a lot more offensive firepower. You have to say that first group was better because of what we accomplished [trips to the Finals in 2002 and '03]. Until we achieve what we did a few years ago, we're not on that level.

On rapper and Nets part owner Jay-Z

He's a huge basketball fan. Earlier this season I was a couple of rebounds from a triple double, and he grabbed me coming out of the huddle and told me I needed two more. He's a fan who has part of the team, and he's enjoying that life. It's cool to have [an owner] who is one of the best of all time at his trade.

On speaking his mind

I regret some things I've said. The whole Gerald Wallace thing [in a postgame interview last year Jefferson said of Wallace, a Bobcats forward, "He's not very talented"]; he's a good guy, a competitive player, and I would never want to disrespect him in front of his family and friends. That was my emotions getting the better of me. But at the same time that makes you who you are. You have to live with those things.

On trash-talking

I'm not a great trash-talker because I don't speak unless spoken to. I learned that from our leader, J-Kidd, who lets his game do the talking. If you start talking to me, I'm going to come back at you, but I'll never instigate anything. I probably talk more trash to my teammates than I do to an opponent.

On playing with Kidd

Without Jason I'm not close to being the player I am. I owe half my contract to him. From the way I'm supposed to handle the officials to the way I handle being coached, I owe it to Jason. I was a knucklehead my rookie year. I would be in the film room arguing with coaches, and he would be behind me, hitting me and telling me to shut up.

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