The life of Jimmer in the NBA has reached a crossroads. A turning point. If the former BYU star does not make it out of this training camp alive, chances are good he will head to Europe–for good.
For Jimmer fans the world over and in particular those who have followed his career since he became a one name household name at BYU, well, this news that came out Wednesday is troubling. Maddening. As in, how in the world has it even come to this moment?
He tutored this summer under former NBA star Chauncey Billups, for crying out loud. Per usual, Jimmer has said and done all the right things leading up to the start of the regular season. He’s got a wife and family–and dog George–in his new home in Denver.
The answer is simple. He’s not scoring as much anymore. Jimmer has not produced in the NBA, has not been the player many thought he would become after being selected tenth overall at the 2011 NBA Draft.
Since that fateful season in which Jimmer literally had his own media circus complete with a reality show, his scoring average has plummeted. What was once a 7.2 points per game average in his rookie season in Sacramento has dropped to just 3.6 PPG with New Orleans last season.
Sorry if that offends Jimmer fans still steeped in Jimmer Mania but it’s the truth. We’re keeping it real here. About the only time Jimmer makes news anymore is when he scores several three point buckets in a game, reminding folks of what he was doing for BYU back in the day. Alas, that production never lasts. It’s like an eclipse. You think you see something emerging but then, it’s gone in the blink of an eye.
Other than dropping buckets on occasion, Jimmer the honey badger has sit on the bench picking splinters from his butt as he cheers on his teammates and says all the right things in the media. One can only imagine what he’s saying to himself or in private. He has to be somewhat frustrated at this point; it’s going on his sixth season in the league.
And now the San Antonio Spurs are the latest to have taken a flier on the cherubic kid from BYU, giving him a non-guaranteed training camp contract ONLY to make their team. No bonus baby deal, no bones about it. No millions and no TV cameras following his every move.
Coach Pop just wants to see if the kid from BYU can really shoot this rock, and frankly it wouldn’t be the first time Pop has worked wonders with some player everyone else wrote off.
According to San Antonio Express News reporter Jeff McDonald, “NBA veterans Jimmer Fredette and Rasual Butler remain in the mix for the final roster spot.” McDonald also added that Butler appears to have the lead in this two-horse race.
Which begs then the final point of this discussion. If Jimmer is cut, then will he accept a lesser role in the D-League and swallow his pride? Or, will he finally do–as many have assumed he will do–and star for Real Madrid or Barcelona or some other European power and re-make his name, face, and image thousands of miles from any NBA arena? Would he do that to his family and dog and uproot them from their cozy home in Denver?
Stay tuned, because this season for Jimmer could be pivotal in more ways than one. You really have to wonder if this is the final stop in the NBA for Jimmer, whose career has basically flat lined to the point where few find any hope for this former consensus college player of the year.