Sacramento fans were hoping ‘Jimmer-Mania’ would follow Jimmer Fredette to the NBA–but it didn’t. Now Chicago fans are hoping it will resurface for them.
As exciting as it was to watch Fredette play for BYU there were many pundits that wondered if his skill set would translate to the NBA. No matter how many defenders opponents put on him he still managed to average 28.9 points a game, but the competition level isn’t the most competitive in the nation.
So was he really as good as advertised? The Sacramento Kings hoped so hence completing a trade that brought the No. 10 pick in the 2011 draft from Milwaukee to the West Coast. However, while his college popularity did transfer over to the NBA causing merchandise sales for the team to sky rocket (especially his No. 7 jersey).
It didn’t translate to the hard court though. In two full seasons (’11-12 and ’12-13) with the Kings he saw time in 130 games and started seven. He never saw much time though and only averaged around seven points a game–far from the 28.9 fans grew accustomed to in college.
Was it just a case of college talent not transferring to the professional game? Was he not as good as advertised or was it the team’s fault for not giving him a chance?
If the tale sounds familiar it should. Jeremy Lin was a popular player during his days at Harvard and the Golden State Warriors were more than happy to sign a local high school star in 2010 when his college days were done. On a promotional level it was a brilliant move, but the team rarely played him and eventually let him go prior to the start of the 2011-12 season.
For all intents and purposes his career was done without ever really starting, but than he got a chance to play regular minutes for the New York Knicks during the 2011-12 season and Lin-Sanity was born.
Can the same happen for Fredette in Chicago? After clearing waiver he was signed and available to play on Sunday against the Knicks (and did get three minutes making one of two shots and two rebounds) so it is way too soon to say, but it could happen.
The Bulls just have to give Fredette a chance to play.