When future generations write about LeBron James’ second stint in Cleveland, Richard Jefferson’s importance to the team may go understated. Although Jefferson was at the downturn of his career, he proved to be valuable on and off the court with the Cavs‘ championship team. Jefferson recently spoke candidly about what it’s like to be with LeBron James off the court. This included a rundown of what James is like when he drinks wine.
Richard Jefferson’s career
Jefferson’s best days were behind him when he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’d been a borderline star with New Jersey early on in his career, but he’d spent the latter half of his career as a journeyman role player with several different teams. When it comes to his impact on the Cavaliers during his swan song, it was relatively minimal. He averaged just five points off the bench.
However, Jefferson’s penchant for showing up in significant moments and being a great teammate helped the team during its darkest moments. He might not have been on the floor for long stretches, but he knew how to make his presence felt whether he was playing in two minutes or thirty. All of this was worth it in 2016, when Jefferson won his first and only ring with the club.
He returned to the Cavaliers after a brief retirement and watched his team go all the way to the NBA Finals again, although this time they lost to the Warriors. Jefferson briefly played for the Denver Nuggets the following year, but his Cavaliers stint was a swan song. Now, he has a friend for life in LeBron James. Off the court, the pair became wine buddies.
LeBron James hits the bottle
James is not shy about his love for wine. When he spent much of his first season with the Lakers on the bench with an injury, he often came to the arena with a glass of wine in hand. BroBible reports Jefferson’s take on James, including his admission that wine makes James emotional. He shared an amusing story about the way his friend is after a few glasses.
When it comes to drinking wine, I’ll give you one story. He kind of had a moment, he’s an emotional guy, we all know that as his teammates. You’ve seen the videos and the memes, he gets emotional. And he had been grumpy for like a day and he texts, ‘Hey guys I’m going to be at this restaurant.’ So we went somewhere else, me and Channing Frye, and we said ‘let’s go meet up with Bron even though he’s being grumpy.’ And we meet up and he was full on frat boy. (Per Bro Bible)
James gets introspective when he drinks, although Jefferson claims that it can border on paranoia.
Like, ‘Guys, I’m sorry. I know I was grumpy. I owe you guys one!’ We were like, ‘Dude you’re fine, man. You’re fine.’
It was funny because I think his personality always stays the same, but he’s an emotional guy and every once in a while he’ll get that one glass past the normal and he gets a little emotional, just like–” Guys, I’m sorry I was grumpy that was my bad. (Per Bro Bible)
It’s a funny bit about one of the most famous people in the world. However, it helps secure James as one of the leading wine connoisseurs in the NBA,
LeBron James, wine ambassador?
James loves to try out new wines. He’s stated his love for red wine, in particular, on multiple occasions. However, he’s not drinking grocery store wine like the rest of us. His choice wines often run $300 to $500, with far more expensive bottles occasionally getting into the mix. According to sommelier DLynn Proctor, James has experts tell him which wine to get, explains Bleacher Report.
James has changed the culture around the NBA in many ways. However, one of the unsung ways he’s done this is by introducing a wine culture that resonates with a younger generation.