Ex-NBA 1st-round pick Rondae Hollis-Jefferson willing to ‘sleep in the gym’ to make it back into league

Ex-NBA 1st-round pick Rondae Hollis-Jefferson willing to ‘sleep in the gym’ to make it back into league

Former Portland Trail Blazers first-round draft selection Rondae Hollis-Jefferson wants a second chance.

Despite being away from the NBA for the past three seasons, Hollis-Jefferson suggested that he is willing to go to extreme lengths to make a comeback.

The 29-year-old believes he can still contribute to an NBA team if he is given an opportunity. In a recent social media post, Hollis-Jefferson acknowledged the mistakes he made in the past, while also touting the positive ways his game has changed over the years.

“I was going to let it slide and play out the way it’s supposed to but there’s no way I can sit back and let people discredit all the work I’ve put in. Mentally, physically, and skillfully. My game has evolved in many ways while still having the tools that got me to the NBA,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.


“I’m confused as to why I can’t get an opportunity? OK, I made mistakes at 24 that I wouldn’t make at 30. But that’s life, you learn from those mistakes. I’m not asking for anything other than a chance. S—, I’ll sleep in the gym.”


Hollis-Jefferson has not appeared in an NBA game since the 2021 playoffs. He spent the first four seasons of his NBA career with the Brooklyn Nets. In the three years since his NBA exit, Hollis-Jefferson has played for several teams that compete in international leagues. Most recently, he suited up for the Mets de Guaynabo, a Puerto Rican professional team.

He expressed appreciation for traveling around the globe, but he also said returning stateside to play for an NBA franchise would bring him closer to his loved ones.

“I sit there and travel all over the world to hoop (it’s nice) but I miss my family every day (take them with you). I’m not about to drag babies from country to country (they need stability). All I need is a shot to help a team and be close to what really matters,” Hollis-Jefferson continued.

“I know mad players and staff in the NBA and [players] union. And majority of these folks speak highly of me and know I’d do whatever to win and whatever if they needed me to help them in any way. But when you’re really looking for someone, they are gone until you are weak enough to break down.”

After his run with the Nets came to a close in 2019, Hollis-Jefferson appeared in 60 games with the Toronto Raptors during the 2019-20 season.

Hollis-Jefferson’s game appeared to be on the uptick during his time playing overseas. He particularly shined during the FIBA World Cup, averaging nearly 8 rebounds and more than 4 assists per game during the tournament.

He averaged 9 points and 1.9 assists during his NBA career.

Hollis-Jefferson rose to prominence during his standout college basketball career at Arizona, where he earned First-Team All-Pac-12 in 2015. 

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