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Sunday, July 12, 2020

NBA assistant on Jimmer Fredette: He ‘thinks everybody is stupid’


The dream has died many times by now. Its latest death this week could prove the ultimate finality. There might be no coming back this time. No more hope, no more light at the end of the tunnel, only shaking heads wondering what could have, heck, what should have been. The dream I’m referring to is NBA Jimmer Mania, of course.

The San Antonio Spurs officially waived the sharpshooting college basketball divinity known as Jimmer Fredette on Wednesday. This was supposed to be the greatest redemption tale of our time. The NBA’s model franchise, capable of turning water into wine at every turn, taking on a reclamation project for the ages and transforming history’s most misunderstood hardwood hero into a viable NBA talent. An elite shooter somehow unable to survive in a league that worships them would finally get his big break in a Spurs ecosystem unparalleled in terms of generating efficient looks from beyond the arc. It made perfect sense on paper. But it just was not meant to be.

With San Antonio’s decision to pull the plug on the Jimmer Experiment before it even got off the ground, what was supposed to be basketball bliss instead marked the fourth time an NBA team has given up on Fredette since he was drafted No. 10 overall just four years ago. And the BYU bigshot thinks they’re all stupid for it.

In a piece by Michael Lee of Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday on Fredette’s much-maligned NBA career, an anonymous NBA assistant coach who supposedly worked with Fredette had this so say about the 26-year-old: “Jimmer thinks everybody is stupid. He thinks everybody needs to come and just turn over their offense and let him shoot it anytime he wants. That’s not how the league works.”

It’s easy to see why Jimmer might feel that way. He was arguably basketball’s biggest cult hero back when he was raining bombs and mortar fire from two steps inside of half-court on the entire college basketball conglomerate during his BYU days. The Legend of Jimmer inflated his stock to the point that he was even valued more highly than the likes of Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, and Jimmy Butler on Draft Day 2011.

But a dysfunctional landing spot in Sacramento as a rookie stunted his development for good. And that was the only nail the coffin of a ball-dominant, turnover-prone, undersized guard that couldn’t stay in front of a plate of escargot on defense needed, especially in today’s era of ball movement and pace-and-space. Now with Gregg Popovich and Co. (the “If they can’t save you, no one can” sages of the NBA) throwing in the towel on Fredette, the ship may have finally sailed for real this time.

Fredette, himself, still believes. But as for the rest of us, it’s probably time to take the “I Dream of Jimmer” movement off life support once and for all.

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