It might be tough for some younger readers out there to remember that there was once indeed a time when the New York Knicks were actually a desirable team to play for, but over the past 20 years or so, the franchise has had a fair amount of trouble attracting big names to play on what used to be one of the biggest stages in sports.
The new millennium has not been kind to the Knicks, who saw their 14-year playoff streak come to a close in 2001, and while they managed to make it back to the postseason a few times at the start of the decade, they’ve consistently finished near the bottom the basement of the standings since then.
Last month, Kevin Durant fired a shot at the Knicks while attempting to explain why the hell no one wants to play for them anymore, and over the weekend, Richard Jefferson decided to pile on when he credited the organization with making him realize it was time for him to retire.
According to For The Win, the Knicks were the sole team to approach the NBA veteran after his brief time with the Nuggets came to an unceremonious close and he decided he’d rather do literally anything else than have to play basketball for them.
Here’s what he said during the broadcast on Sunday:
“I refused to play for the Knicks. Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin—they don’t really care. Me? I was the one person that said, ‘Knicks? No. I’ll retire.’ That’s why I retired.
They were the one team that offered me a job, and I decided to retire. It’s true. I decided to retire instead of playing for the Knicks. … I just knew it was time. When the Knicks were looking for me to play for them, I knew my time in this league was over.”