Jefferson with the Bobcats, 2013
|No. 25 – Charlotte Bobcats|
|Position||Center / Power forward|
January 4, 1985 |
|Listed height||6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)|
|Listed weight||289 lb (131 kg)|
|High school||Prentiss (Prentiss, Mississippi)|
|NBA draft||2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15th overall|
|Selected by the Boston Celtics|
|Pro playing career||2004–present|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
High school career
Jefferson attended Prentiss High School in Prentiss, Mississippi from 2000–2004. Jefferson started as a freshman for Prentiss's varsity squad. During his junior season he became one of the elite players in the country, drawing the attention of both college coaches around the country, and the scouts of the NBA. In his senior year for the Bulldogs he averaged 42.6 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks a game. He had earned a scholarship to attend the University of Arkansas to play with the Arkansas Razorbacks but opted out to enter the 2004 NBA Draft.
Al Jefferson was drafted with the 15th pick by the Boston Celtics in the 2004 NBA Draft, becoming the first high school player to be drafted by the Celtics (Kendrick Perkins was drafted by the Grizzlies, then traded to Boston on draft day in the 2003 NBA Draft). He played primarily as a power forward and averaged 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game during his rookie season.
Jefferson's 2005–06 season was widely considered a disappointment, mostly due to a series of ankle injuries and a torn meniscus in his right knee which limited him to playing in 59 games. He averaged 7.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game during his sophomore season.
In the off-season prior to the 2006–07 season, Jefferson hired a personal chef and lost about 30 pounds. After experiencing lingering pain after participating in the Las Vegas Summer League, a CAT scan revealed bone spurs. On August 2, 2006, he underwent ankle surgery to remove these bone spurs. On November 8, 2006 prior to the fourth game of the season, Al Jefferson had appendectomy surgery at New England Baptist Hospital. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Camer and Dr. Farhat Homsy and assisted by Celtics Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon. He missed seven games and returned to the lineup on November 23, 2006.
While already playing increased minutes (9.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per game over nine games as a reserve), his role expanded due to an injury to starting center Kendrick Perkins. With backup centers Michael Olowokandi and Theo Ratliff already on the injured list, Celtics' coach Doc Rivers started Al Jefferson at center on December 6, 2006 against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Over the next seven games, Jefferson averaged 16.3 points and 11.1 rebounds in 33.7 minutes per game. In what some considered a breakout performance against the New Jersey Nets on December 9, 2006, he scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds which tied a career-high (set on May 5, 2005 in a playoff game against the Indiana Pacers). It was the second time he had scored more than 20 points in a game. The previous occasion was on December 10, 2005 against the Dallas Mavericks where he scored 21 points. His third and fourth 20-point game came six and seven days after the second, on December 15 and December 16, 2006, when he scored 28 against the Denver Nuggets and 22 against the Charlotte Bobcats. These efforts punctuated a five-game win streak by the Boston Celtics.
On March 3, 2007, Jefferson scored a career-high 32 points to go along with 18 rebounds against the New Jersey Nets, against whom he had previously set his career high in points against earlier in the season. On March 5, Jefferson was named the NBA's Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the week starting February 26 through March 4.
On July 31, 2007 it was made official that Jefferson was to be traded along with Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, and draft picks, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Garnett.
After landing in Minnesota, Jefferson quickly signed a large contract extension before the season. At $65 million over five years, it was satisfactory but he could have gotten a max deal. Instead he chose not to pursue one, due to "having not really proved myself".
In his first season with the Timberwolves, Jefferson was the team's scoring leader. Playing in all 82 games, he ranked 20th in the NBA in points per game (11th in total points), averaging 21.0 points per game while shooting .500 from the field. Jefferson also defined himself as one of the premier big men in the NBA by being only one of four players to average 20 points and 10 rebounds (the others being Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer, and Antawn Jamison). Jefferson ranked 5th in the NBA in rebounding, averaging 11.1 (4th in total rebounds) and 2nd in offensive rebounds per game (3.8), only behind Tyson Chandler (4.1). Jefferson is ranked 12th in the NBA efficiency and is 3rd in the NBA in double-doubles.
In January 2008 Jefferson won Western Conference Player of the Week honors after averaging 33.3 points and 15.3 rebounds and leading the Timberwolves to a 3–1 record from January 21 to 27.
Jefferson was having a career best year, averaging 23.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in the first 50 games of the season, until suffering a serious right knee injury after landing awkwardly on one leg in a game at New Orleans. Jefferson claimed that he felt a pop in his knee and the injury resulted in a complete tear to the ACL which required reconstructive surgery that ended his season. At the time the Wolves were 17–33 and showing signs of improvement, but with Jefferson out, they went 7–25 over their remaining games, and were a lottery team once again.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- "Departures of Jefferson, Hargrow to go unfilled". Sports.espn.go.com. 2004-06-25. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Pierce buzzer-beater completes C's rally past Nets". Sports.espn.go.com. 2006-12-09. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Pierce overcomes shooting woes to lead Celtics over Nets". Sports.espn.go.com. 2007-03-03. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "A. Jefferson, K. Martin Named NBA Players of the Week". Nba.com. 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- Press, Associated (2007-07-31). "Garnett deal finalized". Celtics.bostonherald.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Rebuilding Wolves give multiyear extension to Jefferson". Sports.espn.go.com. 2007-11-01. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- Zgoda, Jerry (2007-11-01). "Wolves, Jefferson agree to extension". Startribune.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Jefferson's $65M extension isn't max deal, but he's satisfied". Sports.espn.go.com. 2007-11-01. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Jefferson West's Player of the Week". Nba.com. Archived from the original on 16 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Wolves' Jefferson scores career-high 40 as Nets continue slump". Sports.espn.go.com. 2008-01-27. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Bobcats blow 18-point lead but hold off Timberwolves". Sports.espn.go.com. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 13, 2010. Archived from the original on 19 January 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
- Krawczynski, Jon (November 12, 2010). "Kevin Love grabs 31 rebounds, scores 31 points to rally Wolves to 112–103 win over Knicks". Associated Press. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
- "Jazz Acquires Center/Forward Al Jefferson from Minnesota". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. July 13, 2010. Archived from the original on August 8, 2010.
- Bobcats Sign Free Agent Center Al Jefferson
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com
- Al Jefferson at Basketball-Reference.com
- Al Jefferson's Official Web Site
- Al Jefferson's Official Facebook Page