Last of a Dying Breed
Al Jefferson will be continuing his basketball career in the Big3, but his NBA days are now behind him, as he has said he’s retiring from the NBA.
Big Al last played in the NBA in the 2017-18 season, playing the role of a veteran leader on a young, talented Indiana Pacers squad.
In the prime of Big Al’s career, he was a dominant force in the paint, racking up double-doubles on a nightly basis. Al averaged a double-double in four seasons of his career with three different teams, the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Bobcats.
Perhaps more impressively, Jefferson averaged 16 points or more and at least eight rebounds per game in nine consecutive seasons from 2007-2015.
In today’s “pace-and-space” NBA that heavily features the three-point shot and “positionless” basketball, there aren’t too many players like Big Al left in the NBA.
Al used his body and his savvy post moves on a nightly basis as he terrorized opposing defenses and dominated the glass.
Big Al was as efficient as any player on the offensive end throughout his career, finishing his 14-year career with a shooting percentage of 49.9 percent.
During his time in Charlotte, Al led the team to the playoffs after the franchise had been at the bottom of the Eastern Conference before his arrival. And Big Al, also helped usher in the return of the Hornets to Charlotte as they changed their mascot and team colors back from the Bobcats.
Big Al never fancied the three-point shot in his career, but he didn’t need it. His old-school style post game thrived for 14 incredible seasons in the NBA.
“One of the best pump-fakes I’ve ever seen, you know it’s coming but he still got people with it,” his Utah Jazz teammate Derrick Favors said.
Perhaps the only aspect of Big Al better than his post game was his character as a teammate. His teammates in Utah, Derrick Favors praised Jefferson for welcoming him in as a young player in the league.
“One of the best people I’ve ever been around. When I got to Utah, he welcomed me in with open arms and brought me up under his wing,” Favors said. “Just a hilarious guy, a great guy to learn from. He always was just enjoying the moment, always worked hard, and just had fun.”
Although Big Al won’t suit up in the NBA anymore, he will still be competing in the BIG3 this summer, and you can be sure you’ll see plenty of his signature post moves.