Richard Jefferson Shares Powerful Personal Story While Criticizing The NBA's Load Management Problem

There is a load management issue in the NBA with superstar players sitting out games depriving consumers and ticket-paying fans of seeing them play. You know it, I know it, and former NBA champion turned ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson knows it.

Just last week Ja Morant sat out for the Grizzlies' contest against the Kings. It was the second night of a back-to-back with a matchup with the Warriors circled two days later. Denver's Nikola Jokic sat out Wednesday's game against the Bucks, which kept fans from seeing him square off against Giannis Antetokounmpo, the matchup every fan in the building paid to see.


During a recent segment of 'NBA Today,' Jefferson explained how much the league has changed since his rookie season in 2001. How teams and players are paying millions to stay healthy, yet even if they are healthy, they're sitting out games.

Richardson then shared a powerful story from his childhood that puts things into an even greater perspective.

"For Christmas, my parents got me a ticket to go watch the San Antonio Spurs because David Robinson was my favorite player," Jefferson said on the pregame show. "One ticket. My dad, who worked security and scrubbed floors and did all this stuff, he dropped me off at the game. He gave me $5 and I went in there by myself because my family couldn't afford to come to the game."

"It's like every day that I stepped on the floor I remembered my father. I remember having one ticket, and all the families and people that were just like me. If David Robinson wouldn't have played in that game like I get emotional thinking about it."

Jefferson also hit the nail on the head explaining that "players in this generation are doing more of what they are told instead of going out there and leaving it all on the floor."

It's a spot-on breakdown from Jefferson. He has seen first-hand how things have evolved around the league over the last handful of years.

Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris

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Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the world of professional golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.