With the NBA trade deadline is coming into fruition. Jimmer Fredette is still waiting for a call-up.
A big contrast to his days playing in BYU when every team would want him. “Jimmer mania” became a global trend with people searching Youtube clips of the name Jimmer from BYU shooting from 30 feet and beyond which is fondly called the “Jimmer range”. He was a star, a deadly scoring machine a sure taker for any NBA team that would draft him. But the script came out different. After Sacramento drafted him as their tenth overall pick in 2011, above Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard. His dominance never transcended into the pros. Jimmer struggled offensively and defensively against bigger players and became a liability.
He was eventually waived by Sacramento, appearing just 8 games in Chicago and average to only 10.2 minutes while he was in New Orleans. San Antonio signed him but eventually waived him before this season started.
Jan. 11, 2011
The boisterous and raucous crowd of Huntsman center in Salt Lake City Utah came into the game ready against their bitter rival the BYU Cougars. Everyone thought this would be a competitive game, but Jimmer had other plans. He scored 47 points with 6 assists including a 40 foot buzzer beater to close the half with 32 points.
Fredette was an enigma to all defenders. He pulls up from right or going left, he can shoot off the dribble, off the glass with the wrong foot and still wills the ball to go in. He is so crafty even if he is slow footed and doesn’t jump too well.
Six days before the Utah game, he scored 39 points against UNLV, Jimmer keeps on attacking like a wounded tiger, never ceasing and never relaxing. Everyone was comparing him to Stephen Curry, Pete Maravich and Larry Bird. After the Utah game when BYU ousted UTAH 104-79, the crowd gave Jimmer a standing ovation. It was a virtuoso performance that might not be replicated for a long time. Everyone loves him, even opposing teams. Nobody really thought his career in the NBA would be like this… not ever… not in Jimmy’s range.
In the NBA…
With Stephen Curry’s comparison (looks and frame size), his style of play is more like JJ Redick. Much like Jimmer, JJ was also a college star and was the 13th Duke Player to have his jersey retired. A dead eye shooter who shoots to about 46 percent from the field. JJ had the same fate like Jimmer, but the only difference was that JJ had that realization early on his career. Instead of being the star player, JJ was committed to play as a role player. He doesn’t demand the ball like he was in college, but when JJ was open, he always made sure it was a made field goal.
The 6-foot-2 guard, Fredette came into the league with full of expectations. But as his first season with Sacramento came, it was evident that he was too slow to defend faster players and too small to defend bigger players, he became a defensive liability and his offense couldn’t patch the gap as well. Jimmer lasted four seasons, and four teams took a chance hoping to get something out of him. The difference between Jimmer and JJ was that Fredette wasn’t able to outgrow his college days. He thinks the ball should go through him and shoot it anytime he wants… but it was not how the NBA works.
If there is one talent that can sustain a career in the NBA for years… and that is versatility. Jimmer wasn’t able to play point guard when Jrue Holiday got a leg injury when he was in New Orleans. And he wasn’t able to strive in San Antonio’s selfless offense.
Redick’s self-awareness saved his career, Jimmer still have to learn.
The Westchester Knicks is an affiliate of the New York Knicks in the D-league. The Westchester County center is a far cry from the Madison Garden arena. It only have 5000 seats but it was good enough for Jimmer to prove his worth. On his debut he scored 37 points and is now averaging 23.7 points per game. This was the first time in years he had consistent playing time and Jimmer went to work. Although the D-league is a bit different from the NBA wherein the defense is not really a priority and the guys are showing off, hoping to get an NBA scout’s nod. But still it’s a big contrast to college leagues. The D-league is still the place to be, if you want to get an NBA spot. You will have to compete against former NBA players and college stars, and so far Jimmer is proving he deserves a second chance.
Fredette is playing 37.1 minutes per game, although his defense is still suspect, surprisingly the Westchester Knicks are one of only three teams giving up fewer than 100 points a night and held opponents to just 43% shooting which is the second best in the league. No, D-league is not the NBA but what Jimmer is doing, is he is catching up on defense and showing everybody that with the right kind of system and plays, he can really strived.
The clock is ticking, and still no call from NBA teams. Jimmer wanted to get that chance, an opportunity to get back on those failed expectations and once glory.
Jimmer Fredette is not shooting for all those bright lights in big arenas in the NBA. He isn’t even thinking about being an NBA star. He just wants a roster spot.
Before Stephen Curry were hitting three pointers beyond our imagination there was the “Jimmer range”. It seemed an impossible feat if you do it consistently, nobody really thought it would go in regularly… but that’s how Jimmer operates. Even if the percentage of the shot going in is too small, even if nobody believes it will go in… He just took the risk…
He deserves another chance in the NBA… it just a matter of taking that risk…
A “Jimmer range” risk.
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