Denver Nuggets president Josh Kroenke and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson have been friends since the mid-2000s. It turns out that booze helped bring them together.
Kroenke appeared on the podcast Jefferson cohosts with fellow Cavalier Channing Frye called “Road Trippin’ with RJ & Channing” that was released Wednesday. Toward the beginning of it, we learn that the two became close by frequently hitting the town together when they both lived in New York City.
“I hurt my wrist,” Jefferson said. “My team told me I was done for the season. I had just signed a max contract. Josh had just finished college, and we decided to go out and drink every single night in New York.”
At the time, Jefferson was a star player for the New Jersey Nets, while Kroenke was a recent University of Missouri graduate who’d just completed an internship with the NBA league office. They were familiar with one another through a mutual friend.
“My internship ended and then my next job didn’t start for like two months,” Kroenke said. “That coincided with Richard getting hurt. Literally, I think the exact instructions you got were, ‘Don’t sweat. Do as little as possible.'”
Jefferson was ordered not to sweat to reduce the risk of infection after wrist surgery. So instead, he drank.
“The only I could do was sit around,” Jefferson, who’s 36 now, said. “I couldn’t do cardio. I couldn’t do anything. I just tried to physically hurt my body like a 24-year-old with a max contract would.”
The podcast has a lot of good party stories, including one intense credit card roulette anecdote.
You can also listen to Kroenke talk about the Avalanche, the perils of sharing a bathroom with one of his college roommates and the fantasy football league he’s in with several current and former NBA players. Check it out here.
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