Welcome back, Al Jefferson





Welcome back, Al Jefferson.

It’s been eons since the workaholic low post man got to experience the playoffs. In fact, his only other taste of the postseason was as a rookie with the Celtics in 2005.

Lost in the hoopla and praise of all big-name stars that make the jump into the NBA and become perennial fixtures in April, May and June are the old pros who just keep grinding it out with little reward.

“Seven long years; seven long years since I have been in the playoffs,” Jefferson said. “It’s a blessing. It’s a great opportunity to get here, a lot of people counted us out, nobody thought this team would be in a position to get in the playoffs, and we made it. It’s a great group of guys and everyone on our team deserves it.”

No other leading scorer on a 2012 playoff team has waited as long as Jefferson to end a drought of playoff appearances. Three seasons of suffering in Minnesota and then he arrived in Utah in the season when the Jazz’ playoff run ended. Then they started off this season losing their first two games by 42 points. Then they were 15-18 just after the All-Star break. Then they lost eight of 13 games just before the stretch run. Now they have made it. And so has Jefferson.

“It was a long road,” he said. “We started with short training camp, with a young team. We just stayed with it. Coach believed in us, we believed in ourselves, we got confidence and everybody just stepped up. It’s just a wonderful feeling we worked real hard to get here. I’m just proud of all the guys and everybody who just stayed with it.

“It’s good to make people eat their words. That’s what we did. Now it’s time to go and shock the world.”

Welcome back, Al.

14 Comments

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  2. Congratz Big AL says:

    Congratz to Utah for making the playoffs..Hope that they can win against the spurs..Al Jefferson for 3rd team All-NBA..You deserve it Man..:)

  3. john says:

    Good for Al!

    Hibbert will probably play for the Jamaican National team again.. Mcgee, Bynum, Jefferson and Chandler are probably the top 4 U.S prospects at Center.

  4. Bobsky says:

    USA can win title even though without howard or any center.. hahahahaha

  5. NBAfan says:

    Good for Al Jeff. Good for Utah…Deron’s already in his fishin’ boots….but Al is not National team material I think…unless you want a repeat of what year was that? 2002 or 2003?

  6. Bob Slydell says:

    Go Al!

  7. Yave says:

    I tip my hat to Utah.They were the underdogs and they proved everyone wrong.Even me.Let’s see if they can do the same thing Memphis did last year:eliminate the 1 seeded San Antonio Spurs.

  8. Gwyn Clarisa says:

    congratulations to you al. Hardwork really has its dividends. Just unfortunate that your first round duel is against the spurs. But who knows? As they say in Basketball, the ball is round…..

  9. allaroundballer says:

    He deserves the Olympic, since Howard is injury. Can’t find another center. Hibert possibly

    • allaroundballer says:

      Besides Chandler & Bynum

      • kangaroo kid says:

        Chandler should get a call up, they only need 1 real centre and with his defensive focus and work on the boards, he should get the nod.
        i’m a Lakers fan, but Bynum is not athletic enough to play internationally with the style that the USA want to play. McGee would be good if he (or Bynum for that matter) were mature enough to be taken on the international stage.

      • Troy says:

        @kangaroo kid
        Just a bit of info regarding McGee. He’s thinking of playing as naturalized in one of the Asian countries.

      • lakers forever says:

        @Kangaroo kid, Just FYI Bynum not athletic??? that is crazy have you seen him play he is 7 foot 285 pounds and no center in the NBA can stop him!! Have you seen the bigs in international play bynum would just eat them up.