Across 17 years in the NBA, Richard Jefferson earned the reputation as one of the friendliest, funniest guys in the league. He won a title in 2016 with Cleveland. He played in an Olympics. As a young player, he was a cog in a New Jersey Nets team that made a lot of noise in the early ‘00s. But it was something he did on the side that pointed toward his future career.
In early 2017, Jefferson—alongside then-teammate and lifelong friend Channing Frye and host Allie Clifton—launched Road Trippin’, a player-driven podcast that featured conversations with LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tim Duncan and Kyrie Irving as well as more loose episodes meditating on life in the NBA. Through that experience, Jefferson developed a precocious feel for the contours of modern media—only recently retired, he’s appeared on CBS, a slew of ESPN shows as well as YES! Network’s Brooklyn Nets broadcast, broadcast many NBA experts consider the best in the league.
While possessing wise-cracking wisdom, he’s attentive to his audience. Stopping by the ONE37pm office recently, he reflected on the Kyrie Irving episode of Road Trippin’, one where Irving outlined a handful of very fringe conspiracy theories.
“It was the talk of All-Star Weekend,” Jefferson remembers. But then, something weird happened. “But then, our Instagram got shut down for four days.”
No one knows what happened. But Jefferson is still sour about the followers Road Trippin’ could have picked up if the account hadn’t been deactivated.
“Adam Silver was talking about it!” Jefferson says. “We could have doubled our followers in a weekend.”
Jefferson pauses for a moment, then clarifies, leaning toward the recorder. “I do not believe the world is flat,” Jefferson says, referencing a controversial Irving position (one that he later backed off of).
On his visit, Jefferson sat down to talk about his seedling broadcasting career, the modern state of social media in the NBA and more.