Making the Case: Jimmer

Being from a big school in a small community of has been farmers that cop’d out and sold their land to box house developers, I bore witness to many athletes (mostly white) that seemed to have an insurmountable feel for the game of basketball.  High school studs that would be described as “country strong” and “pure bred shooters”.  Kids with more heart, hustle, and drive than most AAU stars you see today.  Strictly humble.  It’s what our coaches, fathers, and school’s preached to us.  This can be attributed to the blue-collar way of life in my town as much as it could be attributed to the type of basketball that was played.  Zero bullshit.  Maximum effort.  Not one person was bigger than the team.  If you played for the back of your jersey, you were cut.  Simple.

We weren’t fancy by any means.  Most games were low scoring affairs.  Defensive battles with a spritz of offense thrown in here and there.  We’d have more players diving into the stands than a Ron Artest mele.  Basketball was a way of life.  We even had the T-shirt’s to prove it.  We respected that.

We knew that we weren’t the most talented.  We got slapped in the face with that every season when our coach scheduled our out of conference games with some of Chicago’s best teams.  It sucked.  We got our asses handed to us for the most part, but it made us better.  It made us work harder.  It made our conference seem like poodles rather than pit bulls.

As the years went on, we began to learn that you can beat a talented team with no fundamentals or feel for an offensive and defensive game plan any day of the week; and we soon did.  But it comes with a strict price.  You have to be comfortable in your body, in your game.  You have to do one thing perfectly and compensate for the rest with hard work.  You have to be smarter.  You have to do what you have always done; never over compensating for what you can’t.

That whole motif, idea, and being is Jimmer.

Whether we are talking about his BYU career, or his future in the NBA, Jimmer has always been the guy that does one thing perfect, while staying on par with the rest.  He can shoot lights out.  Equipped with a quick trigger and a god-given prowess to score.  He works hard and takes nothing for granted.  Driven on nothing more than his individual love for the game and the need to prove naysayers wrong.  You can guarantee, in Sacramento, he is not resting on his one-word name alone.  He is driven with a competitive and no excuses mentality; a quality that was surely drilled into him during his younger days of basketball in one of the most competitive palaces for basketball, New York.

What Jimmer doesn’t do well has been drilled into the ground, buried beneath 20-feet of cold hard earth, and resting under Colin Cowherds 500-million dollar mansion.  He lacks the ability fo play lock down defense and that was the case in a slower NCAA.

So the questions still arise, “What will happen when he has to face the likes of Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Russel Westbrook, and Mike Conley?”

That has yet to be seen, but what has been noticed is his drive and willingness to tirelessly work on his flaws.  His coaches and teammates can vouch for that.  It would also seem to be a safe bet to assume he has worked tirelessly on his quickness and vision; granting him a level of trust to be able to run the NBA point guard position.

But even though his first name is an iconic symbol to the sporting world, idolized among an entire community, and his jersey is already a top seller for the Kings; he is building a repore among his teammates, already have created an odd connection with one of his more unamused and extremely difficult teammates:

“Second-year big man DeMarcus Cousins has already taken kindly to Fredette and  predicted they could be the NBA’s version of reality TV odd couple, “Rob &  Big.” “I love Jimmer, man,” Cousins said. “Jimmer’s a cool dude. He’s a real  good rookie. I just love the fact that he’s always trying to get it right and  he’s always learning. He’s very humble. And him being the big star that he was  you kind of expect him to come in and have swag and have his chest out, but he’s  the complete opposite. I’ve enjoyed him from the beginning.”
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If he has already won over DeMarcus Cousins, watch out world.  There won’t be a kid under the age of four that won’t have Jimmer on the mind.

All of the things Cousins mentioned showed in the Kings first preseason game of the year.  Jimmer, tied for a team high of 21-points matching Marcus Thornton.  We have come to expect scoring number likes that from Jimmer, but what was intriguing was his ability to tac on four assists on one turnover, a steal, four rebounds, and a 66% three-point percentage.

With the shortened season, Jimmer is going to have to learn on the fly, all the while becoming a major contributor to the Kings three guard rotation.  Players like Jimmer prosper in situations like this.  Hustle, dedication, and ambition go further than pure talent; and Jimmer seems to already have a jump-start on learning the ways of the league over other members of his rookie class.

Rookie of the year?  It’s between the one-word jump shooter and the unproven point guard in Kyrie Irving it seems (apologies to Derrick Williams, but you do play for David Kahn).  But to me, smart money is on proven hustle and proven drive over unproven/injured talent.

Watch out NBA, Jimmer-mania is about to begin.

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