Jason Kidd got to the Finals twice as a Net, then three years after leaving New Jersey, got his ring in Dallas. Kenyon Martin never got to the Finals again. Keith Van Horn made it back in 2006, but his Mavs lost to the Heat. Now, another of the players who thrilled Nets fans 15 years ago will get what is almost certainly his last chance.
As Fred Kerber notes, Richard Jefferson tied a record this week by going the longest time -- 13 years -- between Finals appearances, from 2013 with the Nets to this week with the Cavaliers. Sam Cassell had 13 years between his two championships with the Rockets and an encore with the Celtics. Elden Campbell went 13 years between losing with Magic Johnson's Lakers to winning with the star-less Pistons. It is special.
"I don’t know how many games I have [left], so to actually be playing and contributing on a team that’s here, it means a lot," said Jefferson, now 35. "It meant a lot back then because New Jersey had nothing, had never experienced anything like that. The fan base, none of the guys on the team had. We were a ragtag group of guys that was just thrown together that just played harder and more together than anybody else. So that meant a lot for us.
"But this is a group that we feel is destined to do something special," he said of the Cavaliers.
RJ has played in seven cities since leaving New Jersey in the trade that brought Yi Jianlian to the Nets. It was an ignominious end to a great six years with the Nets. Gotta wish him the best.