Richard Jefferson is one of the most likable guys in the NBA media world. He was the consummate pro as a player and is class personified.
The same thing cannot be said about his former college teammate at Arizona, Gilbert Arenas. RJ had a lot of time on his hands Monday and used it to absolutely destroy Arenas for believing he should have been drafted in the first round ahead of Jefferson.
Jefferson, now an ESPN analyst, responded to a clip in which Arenas was still baffled as to how Jefferson got drafted over him in the 2001 NBA Draft.
"How did they pick Richard Jefferson?" Arenas asked. "I was the No. 1 scorer on our team. I'm the best player on our team. He was option three or four."
Jefferson didn't take too kindly to Arenas' comments, responding to the quotes with a few hilarious stories about his former college teammate's conduct during the draft process, first recalling when Arenas participated in a mandated stress test in a pair of Chuck Taylors. Arenas gave up after less than a minute because he didn't want to mess up his kicks, Jefferson recalled.
"Every athlete knows about the stress test. You gotta do it to make sure your ticker is working. So at the pre-draft [combine] in Chicago, you're only supposed to be on it for five to eight minutes so your heart rate gets high enough," Jefferson said. "So Gilbert decides to do it in Chuck Taylors, he gets up there and 30 seconds in he's like nah this is messing up my Chuck Taylors I'm not doing it. The guys that were running the performance thing were like what are you talking about? You have to do it. Gilbert was like, nah, I'm not gonna do it. So again...red flag."
That's not even the best part of Jefferson's rant. He goes on to share another story about Arenas prior to the draft. When Arenas was asked what he wants to accomplish once he gets to the league, Agent Zero said he wanted to be a "pimp" — much to the chagrin of the person asking the question. Arenas was asked the question again, Jefferson said, and Arenas doubled down, saying he wants to be an "international pimp."
"There is a big symposium. Every pre-draft player is there, teams are there. There are people talking to us about what they want to accomplish in the league and the opportunities it will provide. The microphone gets to Gilbert and they ask him, 'Hey, what do you wanna do?' He says he wants to be a pimp. Now all of us giggle because we are all 19 years old. This guy doesn't know how crazy Gilbert is. So he was like, 'Excuse me, sir. What did you say?' Gilbert then doubles down and said he wants to be an international pimp."
While both stories are absolutely hilarious, it's no surprise why someone, even with Arenas' talent, would drop to the second round with actions like that. It would be interesting to hear Arenas' side of the story, but for now, we'll just have to go along with Jefferson's version.
One thing I do want to know is what Arenas was doing prior to Arizona's 2001 National Championship game that Jefferson pointed out near the end of his video. Whatever it was, it seemed to affect his performance that night. Arenas scored only 10 points and shot well below 30 percent from the field.
Jefferson and Arenas played on the same Arizona Wildcats team that made a Final Four appearance back in 2001, where they ultimately lost to Duke in the national title game, 82-72.
Jefferson went on to be drafted 13th overall by the Houston Rockets (who later traded him to the New Jersey Nets), while Arenas dropped to the second round, where he was selected 31st overall by the Warriors.
If Jefferson decides to add TikTok star to his duties at ESPN, it looks like he could be a must-follow on the app.
Follow Jasper Jones on Twitter: @jonesj2342