I’m not really an emotional guy by nature, especially when it comes to players on my favorite sports teams. Sure – there are moments of disappointment, but outside of the gut-wrenching trade that sent Chris Webber to the Philadelphia 76ers I can’t recall any roster move making such a personal impact.
And while the loss of Jimmer Fredette doesn’t reach the same levels, I’d be lying if I said the loss of Fredette didn’t bother me.
Finding a reason why has been a struggle.
I knew better than to expect the BYU version of Jimmer when the Kings drafted him in 2011. He simply didn’t have the skills to be a star. He wasn’t quick enough. His ball handling was suspect and he never played a lick of high level defense in his life. Add in that he needed the ball in his hands to be successful – the stars simply weren’t aligning.
But Jimmer did and does have beneficial skills for an NBA roster. It’s not his fault that he was improperly used by the previous coaching and front office regime. Like many NBA players, put them in the correct situation and they can thrive. Put them in a poor situation and they’ll fail – that is assuming they ever get off the bench.
I don’t hold any animosity towards the new Kings ownership and front office for giving Jimmer his walking papers. If they didn’t do it he was going to do it at season end. The marriage between the Kings franchise and Jimmer was over way before Vivek, Pete and the rest of the crew came to town.
But that doesn’t mean Jimmer couldn’t have been an effective player for the Kings as he’ll become for a team like the Chicago Bulls (or wherever he lands at season end). He may find a coach (or two) who struggles to use him properly, but Fredette is an NBA player in the most basic of forms.
There isn’t a team in the league who can’t use a player like Fredette to spread the floor. Yes, he’ll have his downfalls, but those can be masked with the proper personal placed on the court to aid his downfalls.
If Anthony Morrow can have a role in the NBA, so can Jimmer Fredette.
I wasn’t much of a Jimmer apologist nor could I say I was anymore a fan of Jimmer than I was any other King on the roster, but do I wish he would have stayed in Sacramento? Sure. Michael Malone would have found a proper role for Fredette in due time, but he had far more important fires to burn and the Jimmer buyout situation has been looming for months. Everybody knew it was coming in the organization – it was just a matter of time and it was more important for Sacramento to profile players for trade (Marcus Thornton) and progress their younger talent (Ben McLemore).
I understand that but I wish it would’ve worked. There probably isn’t a nicer, more kind-hearted player in the league. Jimmer couldn’t get to community events quick enough and he’d stay much longer than the required time just to make sure every child had an autograph. He wasn’t just another guy – he was a true King, despite being paraded around as a prop by the Maloof’s for the first two seasons of his career.
So good luck to you in the future Jimmer and I hope you find the NBA role that eluded you in Sacramento.