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Richard Jefferson speaks about his new Ruffles sneaker and his love for ball

I was able to spend a few minutes with ESPN analyst and former NBA player Richard Jefferson and talk to him about the tradition of NBA All-Star weekend and all the hype around his new Ruffle Sneaker.

Ruffles didn’t miss a beat at the NBA All-Star Game

For the first time, RUFFLES debuted as the title partner of the 2022 RUFFLES All-Star Celebrity Game. The game featured the RUFFLES 4-point Ridge Line, a 4-point line resembling the ridges in RUFFLES potato chips.

And for every shot made from behind the line, RUFFLES and the NBA will donate $4,000 to support the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a minimum of $40,000.

Adding more hype, TV and film stars, musicians, and professional athletes from the likes of Tiffany Haddish, Jack Harlow, Machine Gun Kelly, Quavo and Mayor Justin Bibb flooded the court.

After all, ball is life right? 

Life moves extremely fast.  Everything around us is constantly growing, changing, and evolving at what seems to be an increasingly rapid rate.  The same holds true for the game of basketball. 

After all, ball is life right?  One of the most crucial things to remember in both life and basketball is to remember how important tradition is. 

“One thing that stays constant is change.  The game is always going to evolve.  The league got so offense heavy with everyone playing small ball and shooting threes and Steph Curry changing the game.”

Richard Jefferson on next generation style of basketball

In the course of my lifetime, I have seen the game evolve from an inside offense, lower scoring, defensive type of game to a run-and-gun, fast-paced, 3 point shooting, high scoring game. 

Even today we are in the midst of the game developing even further.

“Currently right now who are probably the best players in the NBA?  It’s probably Jokic, Embiid, and Giannis.  There are big men dominating the league and we haven’t seen that since the early 2000’s and the 90’s.”

Richard Jefferson points out how there is a return on the emphasis of bigs and defense

A Change for Better or for Worse?

There are good changes, bad changes, but always constant evolution.  One of the traditions that could use a little change for the better is the NBA All-Star game. 

Over the course of the past decade, it has been a little disappointing for fans because there is a blatant lack of defense and competitive spirit.  Kobe Bryant describes how the game used to be different and what the fans want to see.  

For the Love of the Game

Although the game itself has lost a little of its luster, the weekend as a whole is still a special tradition that is important to be carried on.  It is a rare opportunity for fans, players, and celebrities as well. 

Since 2003, one of the featured events of the weekend has been the All-Star celebrity game.  It’s not only fun for the fans to see their public figures in a competitive setting, but RJ also brought to light how it’s good for growth.

“Everybody loves to play sports.  I think it’s cool that celebrities love the game of basketball.  They actually help grow the game of basketball, they contribute to it.  I think it’s awesome to see who can play, who can’t and who wants to just be out there for fun.”

Richard Jefferson on looking forward to seeing the Celebs hoop

Richard Jefferson speaks on his custom Ruffle sneakers

All-Star weekend isn’t only special for fans but for players as well.  Richard Jefferson also described to me what was most special from a players’ perspective.  

A cultural staple of fans, celebs, and players…

Another traditional element of basketball culture for both NBA fans and players is the love for sneakers.  One of the official partners for NBA All-Star weekend is Ruffles who had a feature shoe being worn by several of the participants. 

I asked Richard if he was a sneaker enthusiast.

Life and basketball may be in a constant state of change and evolution. 

Whether it be growing the popular swag of sneaker collecting in pop culture or enhancing the facets of NBA All-Star weekend, honoring and carrying forward the traditions is the key to slowing down the moment and providing balance.

ruffles sneaker
Ruffles Sneaker gifted to Richard Jefferson