Jimmer Fredette….Media Hype or Legit Talented Player?

Posted: April 1, 2011 in NCAA Basketball

So I got an email before the game last Thursday – where BYU were ousted from the NCAA tournament. The emailer said to me “you do realize that Jimmer’s is going to be the Player of the Year right? And it’s not because of his religion or skin colour or because of the media; it’s because he’s the best player in the country Andrew…deal with it…grow up!”

Oh good god! I had a buddy who was watching the game Thursday night and he was watching Kemba and this Derek Williams and he’s like “these guys are NBA stars and NBA players” Don’t kid yourself, I read a story where a writer for a reputable paper was sitting beside an Eastern Conference NBA executive, this was after the NBA All Star break flying back from Los Angeles and the executive said to the writer “In our market, we could use a white guard” and the writer goes onto talk about how this NBA executive said it as if the executive was apologizing for having to say it.

The NBA executive continued and said to him “Listen, that would help our marketing” Folks, I’ve sorta talked about the great white hope in boxing, Italians rooted for Rocky Marciano – if you can’t discuss this stuff, we’re never going to make progress in either the US or Canada on anything that has to do with race. There is absolutely no question that part of the Jimmer in Tebow is this “feel good, conservative stuff” it’s honestly great!! But don’t take it – like these Tebow fans, pfft hey Bronco fan, how would you like to have a really good linebacker right now instead of a QB on the bench who was your 1st round pick? Think you could use some actual players?

Don’t fall for the hype!! Tebow is a wonderful kid, he’s never going to be a great QB, quit being a sucker!!! Hey Broncos, could you use a few good players? You drafted a great kid; you win in the league with great players! And yes, part of the Jimmer thing is that he’s a throwback, wonderful…but it is ridiculous – and I’ve sorta been consistent for 3 months now, that Jimmer is largely a media creation.

In 1980, he would be the 38th most interesting player in the tournament, Duke had 9 NBA guys, the Fab 5, Olajuwon, and the Big East had 30 NBA players!!! This year Pittsburgh had none and they were the #1 seed, come on!!! But I will say this, it added a good story! Jimmer got me watching so I enjoyed the game; it got me watching….so if you can move the eyeballs to the TV set, well good for Jimmer!

Tebow plays the number well, I like watching Tebow play as well. In terms of Jimmer, let’s go look at his last 4 games in the tournament, these are the best teams of the country. He was 10 for 25, 10 for 25, 11 for 29, 3 for 15, he plays no defense, has higher than average turnovers. Those are your best teams; he’s not very good against them. And you might say “but Andrew, all these sports writers are ranting and raving about him” Dude, nobody is going to criticize the Jimmer, nobody is going to come out and rip him. He can shoot, but his judgment is poor, Kempa Walker is the smarter player…he totally is the smarter player, he takes better shots!

You want to know what it’s like? Here’s what it’s like. Kemba Walker is Phil Hartman, the comedian. Jimmer is Chis Farley – a one trick pony! I mean Chris Farley, every joke of his, was “I’m fat…” and to the masses, that’s right up their alley!! Chris Farley, the fatter he got… the funnier. Every skit was about him being a physical mess. Phil Hartman was a brilliant writer and a great performer, could’ve done it on Broadway. But the masses don’t want any of that subtlety stuff, they want clever, they want Mike and Molly!

I mean, look around folks, HBO has got a third and an eighth of the viewers of stuff on broadcast television and HBO is doing much higher quality of work. So, Jimmer is a one trick pony and the nation falls for it. When I worked at MLSE for co-op, I had the NBA executive there tell me once “go look at Kevin Durant, look at him physically…that’s the NBA!” What was his point? Length!!! Jimmer’s is short and stocky, it’s like Carmelo and Lebron James. You can look at the stats and go “ahh but Carmelo gives you 27 a night as well, just like Lebron and Carmelo gives you…” they’re different players!! Because defensive stats don’t show up on the boxscore! Melo plays no defense, Lebron plays very good defense.

I mean, you could make the argument that – you know, Jimmer’s scores 28, D-Wade would score 28, and “well it’s the same game” you might say, pfft D-Wade is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. Jimmer doesn’t even box out with the rebounds. He’s a nice kid, clever name, catchy, fun. But just ask yourself “he’s a third of the player of Danny Ainge” Danny Ainge wasn’t a great player! He played on great NBA teams; he’s a very good NBA general manager.

Listen, Tim Tebow is going to appear in Jocky ads, Tim Tebow – who is a wonderful human being, I don’t like him as a QB, I like him as a human, great kid But apparently in Los Angeles – a month after the season, Tim Tebow went and shot Jocky underwear ads and they’re pretty wholesome, they’re not risqué or anything. The reality is that – as a society, we’ve gotten more raunchy and more coarse and Tebow now leads the industry of “nice”

When you get the emails on Jimmer – Let’s be honest about the NBA, it doesn’t look like you, you don’t know a lot of guys like that and so Jimmer is easy to embrace. But if you’re really intellectually honest about the Jimmer, really intellectually honest and not looking for affirmation to agree with you, but information…come on!! Kemba is a completely different level of prospect. He’s still Hartman – a complete comedian, he’s not a one trick pony!

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Comments
  1. Will says:

    You got Jimmer’s stats wrong in the NCAA tournament. Against the Zags Jimmer was 11-23.

    Jimmer averaged more points per shot than Kemba. Jimmer had no consistent bad stretches of play in the season like Kemba.

    Jimmer averaged as many steals as Kemba and as many assists per game. Jimmer also shot a much better percentage from the field and the line than Kemba. Jimmer did that while being double and tripled teamed the latter half of the season.

    Kemba might be a better NBA prospect, but he’s not even close to the level of Jimmer in college.

  2. First off, the 3-15 was his 3-pointer made/3-pointers attempted against Florida…my bad on that one. Still tells the same story at 11-23

    You got good points on the other call outs, but Jimmer for me was hyped up way too much and though he didn’t have any real inconsistency of play, in terms of true potential, I still see Kemba being the better prospect, as you’ve also rightly pointed out.

    I’m pretty sure both will make the NBA, I just think Jimmer will be coming to a bench near you!

    • Mike Crack says:

      I agree. The power of the media is so strong. We really don’t get to access these players, so the media’s influence really determines how we come to view athletes. If the media likes you, you’re going to be more popular than a guy the media despises. Look at Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Both guys were roided up during their Bash Brother days in Oakland, but McGwire was the “All-American” guy who the general media related to and was more forgiving of. Jose was the guy they could vilify.

      Also, as you know, anytime someone is successful in an environment or profession where people who are “like them” aren’t often successful, they will receive more hype. e.g. Eminem, PK Subban, Danica Patrick etc. So I guess the Jimmer-mania is just following that phenomenon.

      Anyway, what makes a good college basketball player doesn’t necessarily make a good NBA prospect/player. The game is different, and the concentration of talent is is different. The same goes for a sport like football. Vince Young, Cam Newton, and Tim Tebow were arguably the best QBs in the game during their times in the NCAA. But come draft time, their college potential was sort of thrown out of the window, because of the big difference between the college and pro game. I guess the same thing is happening/will happen with Jimmer.

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