Richard Jefferson has crossed over to the other side ... the ex-NBA star made his debut as an NBA official last night during the Knicks-Blazers Summer League game.
The 17-year NBA veteran was tapped to officiate the second quarter of the contest between Portland and New York ... after the league says he attended daily Summer League Officiating Meetings in Las Vegas.
NBA Champion and 17-year NBA veteran Richard Jefferson will officiate the second quarter of tonight's New York vs. Portland game after attending daily NBA Summer League Officiating Meetings in Las Vegas.
RJ was received pretty well throughout the night by the fans (except Knicks fans) in attendance at the Thomas & Mack Center in Vegas ... getting cheers from the crowd, but they also didn't hesitate to let the NBA champ hear it when he got a call incorrect.
One Twitter user posted a video of Jefferson being booed ... after he awarded the ball to the wrong team on an errant pass.
Ironically enough, Richard's first experience as a ref came during a game involving the Knicks -- a team he tormented on the court in his career -- something rapper Joe Budden jokingly made reference to on Twitter.
"I guess no one up top has ever heard Richard Jefferson during any Knicks discussion lol… I don't care how many officiating classes he took, he should not be the official (for a quarter) at ANY Knick game ever Foh," Budden said.
I guess no one up top has ever heard Richard Jefferson during any Knicks discussion lol… i don’t care how many officiating classes he took, he should not be the official (for a quarter) at ANY Knick game ever Foh 😭
Jefferson -- who retired from the Association in 2018 -- ultimately believes the more knowledge he has about the game of basketball, the better analyst he becomes.
Why do this? 1. Tremendous amount of knowledge about our game that I’ve learned sitting in classes with the best refs in the world 2.I do this because not many people would dare put themselves in this position. The more info I have the more informed I am as a broadcaster