Al Jefferson is a funny guy.
This morning in Dallas, I finally got a chance to ask him about some recent, um, potty humor of his.
On Wednesday, the Jazz center left shootaround early with trainer Gary Briggs. When asked about it, coach Tyrone Corbin revealed that Jefferson’s leg was bothering him but he didn’t know details.
Moments later, Jefferson denied that anything was wrong with him physically.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said when asked about a possible injury. “No. I’m good.”
Jefferson laughed off follow-up questions before giving a frank explanation:
“I just had to use the restroom,” a chuckling Jefferson said. “… I should’ve went before — my mom always told me to go to the bathroom before.”
Big Al ended his interview telling media members we should be investigative reporters (an endorsement that has already been added to my resume).
Hours later, it was announced that Jefferson couldn’t go — play against Toronto, that is.
Jefferson wasn’t available for comments Wednesday night or at practice Thursday, and I took a charge (joking) to stop him briefly on his way to the team bus this morning.
My first question: “How are you feeling?”
Jefferson: “I’m feeling a lot better than I was the other day. Game-time decision, though.”
My follow-up caught him off guard: “Just have to go to the bathroom?”
The tongue-in-cheek question was asked with a smile, and Jefferson laughed back.
His answered while continuing to chuckle: “Y’all jinxed me. How did y’all even know that (about the sore ankle)? I was playing it off.”
Jefferson even tried to not limp in front of reporters because he hoped to feel well enough to play that night.
Big Al participated in shootaround this morning and hopes treatment and medicine will get him back to where he wants to be — on the court, not in the training room or in front of cameras and microphones joking about going to the bathroom.
In retrospect, it wouldn’t have been as comical had Jefferson been forthcoming about his injury from the get-go. The Jazz are pretty upfront about injuries, so it’s not a big deal. He didn’t want to be hurt or talk about it. Fine.
The most important life lesson to take away from this incident?
Jefferson’s mom is absolutely correct.