Jimmer Fredette, unleashed?

jimmer fredette talking with bulls media 2014-03It was just three years ago that the college basketball world -- well, parts of it, at least -- were gripped with Jimmer Mania. The favorite son of Glens Falls, a local folk hero, was lighting up BYU opponents for to the tune of 28.5 points per game -- and doing so with style. It was a lot of fun.

Then Fredette got drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the 10th pick in the NBA draft. What followed wasn't fun. Jimmer struggled at first in the NBA and he languished on the bench. And even more recently, when he hasn't even been bad, he was still riding the pine. The Free Jimmer movement simmered.

And now he has a new chance. Sacramento bought out Fredette's contract last week, and the Chicago Bulls picked him up. Jimmer made his debut for the Bulls last night (three minutes of garbage time).

This could be a good thing. Sacramento is, um, not a model organization. But Chicago has its act together, with an excellent coach who has a rep for making the most of previously overlooked players. And, really, Jimmer's not bad! He's shooting almost 50 percent from three-point range this season (really). And his PER -- an incredibly geeky statistical measurement of player performance -- is totally respectable. Heck, when he played 27 minutes against the Knicks in February -- the most minutes he's played all season -- he put up 24 points on 6-8 shooting from three. (OK, it was against the Knicks, but still.)

Jimmer's probably never going to be a big star in the NBA. But a guy who eventually plays 15 minutes every night and averages 8-10 points a game? Sure, why not. Maybe he'll get his chance now.

Earlier on AOA: 28.5 facts about Jimmer Fredette

photo: Chicago Bulls Instagram


As a Sacramento native and long-time Kings fan, the whole Jimmer situation has been quite frustrating. First, he was a reach as the #10 pick, and that set up some unrealistic expectations. Combine that with a couple years under some awful ownership (the Maloofs) and bad coaching, and it made for a pretty toxic situation all around.

But then with the ownership change last spring, a long-term commitment to building a new arena in Sacramento, and highly thought-of new management and coaches installed, I was hopeful that Jimmer might get a fresh start and flourish. Yet he continued to mostly waste away on the bench (even though he did have a few good moments when he got some playing time), his rookie contract wasn't extended, and he was eventually bought out.

It's tough for any new regime to come in and be satisfied with old management's leftovers, so maybe that was part of it, but the way they didn't have any interest at all in keeping Jimmer around long-term does make me question what his future holds in the NBA. I'll still be rooting for him to succeed, though!

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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