It took me until Wednesday morning at about 1:17 a.m. to finally admit that I am a believer in James Taft Fredette aka The Jimmer. The question you might be asking immediately following my statement is an honest and fair one, "What in the hell took you so long to believe?" In college basketball, there are two types who hit the scene that I'm leery of. One guy who comes from the nether regions of this country who play in boondock conferences and perform in a high level, yet I refuse to believe in until they do something worth a damn. The other guy is "the next Larry Bird" of some sorts, always either by size or shooting ability, crowned as being "a smart ballplayer", and of course...being one of our Caucasian brothers of this country.
Well guess what? Jimmer fits both criteria, so yes, I was skeptical of The Jimmer. Are you really going to fault me for this? However, it takes a real man to admit when he's wrong and I wonder how good is he, really?
What started out as some dude named Jimmy, Jim, Jimmer hanging 37 on Florida last year, has culminated to this hype machine that is the Jimmer Fredette show. The amount of attention that is given to #32 is at times so overwhelming and so intense that a part of you wishes it would go away. Its nothing against The Jimmer, but too much of anything...well, almost anything is probably bad for you. So when I would hear Fredette put up numbers that rivaled the output of the BYU football team, I'd just shrug it off. "Man, he's just playing in the wack Mountain West conference. He's not playing anybody" or "Man, they're just making him the next Billy Hoyle out here."
Its not that I even wanted to dislike the man, I'm actually very fond of The Jimmer. For looking like someone who might work on cars for a living, dude's got range from the parking lot, dude's handle is surprisingly strong for being such a shooter, and he's got the charisma to be a leader on a team devoid of any real legitimate talent. (Not to mention that whole Brandon Davies fiasco as well) Maybe its the media's fault, maybe its your fault, I don't know. From the comparison's to J.J. Redick to Stephen Curry, as fans we're always quick to compare him to what we know. The Jimmer's his own guy, and we've got appreciate him for what he truly is...
...the next real life Billy Hoyle.
Yep. Think about it, Billy Hoyle (played by Woody Harrelson) was a former college basketball player who made a living hustling streetballers who assumed he couldn't play well because he is white. The hustle is even more provocative because, although he appears to be "a chump" and "a geek," Hoyle never downplays his skill to increase the stakes; it is the Black basketball players' own assumptions that are at the root of the hustle.
Billy did to the black hoopers what The Jimmer did to me, he hit me with the hustle. I refused to believe it. I've lived through the Jason Kapono era. The Casey Jacobsen era. The Kyle Korver era. The Adam Morrison era. The J.J. Redick era. You're not going to dupe me with the white boy shooters and Irish Terry Conklin any more, you've got to show and prove with me at this point. Do I think The Jimmer is better than the players I named? Some, yes. The bigger point is that now, I'm willing to appreciate The Jimmer with no bias whatsoever. He's too good not to.
All we need The Jimmer to do now is YUUUULE on the rim one time like or hit a hook shot from half court on Sudan.
HOW GOOD IS THE JIMMER? CAN HE TAKE BYU TO THE FINAL FOUR? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS!
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