Richard Jefferson thinking seriously about retirement

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Amid the celebration in the Cleveland Cavaliers' locker room, forward Richard Jefferson said he is retiring, according to multiple reports, but he later hedged a little.

Jefferson just completed his first season in Cleveland and the 15th of his NBA career.

"I am retiring. I am retiring," he told Fox Sports Ohio as he celebrated.

Later, in an interview on NBA TV, Jefferson said: "My teammates keep trying to talk me out of it, and I'm like guys, this has been the most stressful month of my life. I was like, 'I don't know.'"

Jefferson then told ESPN of retirement: "Maybe. If you ask me now, yes. But we'll see."

After the Cavs' 93-89 victory over theGolden State Warriorsin Sunday's Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Jefferson offered emotional praise for Finals MVP LeBron James, saying he owes his "entire basketball career to him."

"To be able to get on a team and walk in with a guy that says he's going to be able to carry you and bring me here, I owe everything, every shot, every play, everything I've ever done to that man," Jefferson said.

Jefferson scored two points on 1-for-4 shooting in the final game.

He went to the Finals with the Nets in his first two seasons in the league, losing both times. The Nets were swept by the Lakers in 2002, then lost to theSpursin six games in 2003.

Jefferson never got back to the Finals, until this season.

He has averaged 13.3 points over his career, with 22.6 points per game his best output with the Nets in 2007-08.

This season, Jefferson averaged 17.9 minutes and 5.5 points a game in the regular season for Cleveland, and 18.2 minutes and 5.4 points in the postseason run to the title.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.