10 June 2011

Jimmer and the draft

Here's one outsider's (non-Mormon, non-Utahn) perspective on Jimmer as he works out for different NBA teams in the days leading up to the draft.
As a Mormon who played at a school that suspended a top player for having sex, Fredette seems to have a squeaky clean image as a nice young boy who just wants to play basketball. But he's actually pretty brash, both for moments like this one and the way he plays on the court. At BYU, Jimmer was a gunner at BYU who took shots that once got Allen Iverson(notes) termed a ballhog who wouldn't ever learn to play within a team structure. The man plays with brass balls; nothing about his style suggests humility or aw-shucks wonder at getting the chance to play a child's game on a huge stage.
Good to see people are recognizing his mental toughness and confidence. If professional sports has taught us anything, it's that ability can be (and often is) trumped by the mind. Kwame Brown, LeBron James, Ryan Leaf, Karl Malone... all of these names bring to mind immensely talented players who fell short due to mental breakdowns.

I think Jimmer will be just fine in the NBA. Will he be the league MVP? Probably not, but he can shoot, handle the ball and pass well. The shooting alone should be enough to guarantee his spot on a roster for years to come, because who doesn't need someone who can hit 30-footers? If Eddie House can remain in the league, so can Jimmer.

And his craftiness around the rim and a quick crossover and first step will be enough to get him layups from time to time, in addition to preventing all but the best defenders in the league from just getting up in his chest and daring him to shoot.

Of course, considering the state of the NBA, we probably won't even have a 2011-2012 season, so seeing Jimmer on an NBA court won't happen for a good long while.

No comments: