Al Jefferson is no doubt dealing with issues far more pressing than the upcoming season, but I assume he will use the season to deal with the emotions he must be feeling.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports Jefferson's girlfriend Shirley Lewis has been arrested and charged with assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child, both class B misdemeanors.
The report states a verbal disagreement began at Jefferson’s Cottonwood Heights home between Lewis, 38, and Jefferson, 26, on Thursday. At that point, Lewis allegedly stuck Jefferson and bit him on the back. The awful part is that it took place in front of two children.
So far, this matter is being handled as privately as it can be. The Utah Jazz were reached and had no real comment other than it would stay behind closed doors.
Linda Luchetti, Jazz senior vice president of communications, stated the following:
If it is true, then it is [a] personal situation with a player and we will not be providing any statements or requesting that the player speak to the media about it. Essentially, it is not our business. Our business is basketball and that is all that we can speak to.
In effect, you can sweep this under the rug as most fans will no doubt forget that it ever happened. Make no mistake, this will affect Jefferson who is coming off one of his best seasons.
This isn't Mike Tyson and Robin Givens here. This is a matter that will quickly be put to the back of everyone's mind as soon as the players take the floor on Friday as training camp opens.
Jefferson will not. He will be playing with a flood of emotions that I can only assume overlap one another as he deals with love, anger and embarrassment.
In a league that is filled to the brim with testosterone, Jefferson may very well feel the need to prove his manhood. Such things are unnecessary, but are no doubt valid when such a story breaks in the sports world.
Jefferson had to deal with a horrible situation which will no doubt bleed into the season that is set to begin in just a couple weeks.
The Jazz now have a player that is playing for more than just the fans. He will be playing to forget and for pride, and we can only hope he finds the resolution he is looking for.