Friday, March 25, 2011

They're Still Letting Rick Reilly Write About Basketball

Apparently I was wrong when I said Reilly met his quota for the year. I guess he has to write one NBA article and one college basketball article. So he decided to write an article about this Jimmer kid he's heard so much about, but has clearly never seen. And based on the sample size of one freaking game, he wasn't impressed.

Jimmer grows dimmer

He's not too limber. Shiver me timbers.

So that's the end of Jimmermania. Saw it for myself. Caught the closing act. Not impressed.

Maybe you should have caught the opening and middle acts too before forming an opinion, then.

Thanks to one of the worst performances of Jimmer Fredette's frabulous career -

That's not a word. I looked it up.

- and a set of teammates who looked like pizza delivery guys -- the BYU star took a hard fall in the Big Easy. BYU was bumped out of the Sweet Sixteen on Thursday, losing to Florida in a lopsided overtime, 83-74.

You can take off those "Romney-Fredette in 2012" T-shirts now.

Except for a stretch in the middle, when he was brilliant, Fredette was brutal.

It's almost like he's a streaky shooter! Or, maybe, since the rest of his teammates are pizza delivery drivers, Florida was double-teaming him from 25 feet out every time.

Yes, he scored 32 points, but he took 29 shots to do it. He seemed to be wearing a blindfold from the 3-point arc -- 3-for-15. Plus, he committed six turnovers and wandered aimlessly through the lane on defense like Moses in the desert.

Timely reference there, Reilly.

I've seen dead people play better defense. At least they occasionally trip people.

Pretty sure that's a foul in the ZBA.

If his last college game is what he's bringing to the NBA, then I'd say, in five years, he's got a really good chance to be your Provo area Isuzu dealer.

Well, yes, but I highly doubt whatever team drafts him will be looking for him to jack up 29 shots a game, or surround him with pizza-delivery guys (unless the Clippers draft him.) Also, there's the chance that the rest of his career while vary statistically from this one game you happened to see.

Great kid, though. Polite, smart (good chess player, whiz at Sudoku), studies his Bible in hotel rooms. Maybe that was the problem. Fredette and the largely Mormon BYU Nation should've never been made to come to New Orleans. You can sin just by osmosis here.

You should have seen some of them on Bourbon Street, the freshly scrubbed Cougars fans, horrified to find themselves among the window strippers, the hurricane chuggers and the bead catchers.

Then again, some of the comparisons BYU fans were making about The Jimmer this week made you think they deserved it.

Ah, the sin of pride. Hear that Mormons? God is punishing you via basketball. That's how it works, right?

"Thou shalt not know pride, nor raise a false idol of any one player over the team, lest ye be bounced in the round of 16." (Michael 23:45)

"He's a little Maravich," a guy in a BYU shirt told me.

No! No, he isn't! He's not within a mile of Mardi Gras floats of Maravich. Maravich could get his shot off from the bottom of a swimming pool. He could get 40 in handcuffs. He averaged 44 points a game in college (to Fredette's 28 this season) and that's without the 3-point shot. With it, studies of his game film have shown, he would have averaged over 55.

If Maravich played today, he would have averaged 90 easily! It's not like the game has changed in any other way besides the 3-point line, like athletes being significantly stronger and faster, and recruiting pools deeper.

Also, Maravich at LSU: 49-35, winning percentage of .583

Jimmer at BYU (with pizza-delivery teammates): 114-25, winning percentage of .820

"He's better than Danny Ainge was," a lady in a Cougars sweatshirt told me.

No! No, he isn't! Ainge was Danny Clutch (remember his Sweet 16 drive in 1981)

No, wasn't born yet. Comparisons like these always remind me of this hilarious Onion article.

Fredette didn't have a single game-winning shot all year. Against Florida, he didn't score a single point in the game's final eight minutes, or, for that matter, the first 13.

But dropped 32 in the middle 19 minutes. I can think of a good amount of NBA teams that can find a use for that. As for game winning shots, how many has he needed to make? BYU hasn't been in that many close games this year.

"I know from just watching him he's going to be a great NBA player," Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook said.

No! No, he isn't!

You know this like you know the Melo trade was bad for Denver? (Denver since the trade= 11-4. New York since the trade= 7-10) Just felt like rubbing that in.

Don't get me wrong. The Jimmer will make a modest living in the NBA. When he gets hot, he can drain them from the hotel coffee shop. He splits the double team as well as anybody in the league right now and he has a whole Santa bag of off-balance scoop shots with either hand. But until he shows more interest in defense than a blind man has in rainbows, he's going to spend most of his NBA life sitting on padded folding chairs.

Plenty of NBA players have made a living in the NBA without being great defenders.

To his credit, he'll have more help in the NBA than he had this season at BYU. His best rebounder, Brandon Davies, was thrown off the team for violating BYU's no-booze, no-sex, no-caffeine honor code, which meant it was pretty much Jimmer or nothing against the tall trees of Florida. He never came out once in the first 44 minutes and had to fire up shots through the tiniest cracks of light allowed to him by the Gators. He wore out. He fired up two 3s from at least six feet behind the arc in the overtime and missed them both, badly. Then again, he had a cut in his chin that looked like something George Foreman had left and his calf was killing him. But when his teammates really needed him, at the end of regulation, on defense, Jimmer really hit the dimmer.

You used that one already. Here's some more: "Jimmer's chances were getting slimmer," "Jimmer's D was like Kimmy Gibbler."

Florida missed a trey with 24 seconds to go and Fredette's man, Erving Walker, who stands only 5-6, beat him to the long rebound. It wasn't hard. Fredette was nowhere to be found. I'm not even sure Fredette knew who his man was the entire night. Florida wound up with a reset and the last shot.

CBS is good about patrolling youtube, so I can't rewatch the final ten seconds of regulation, but I remember the rebound going all the way out to the 3-point line when Florida got it. Anyone who's ever played basketball has been in a situation where they boxed their man out perfectly, but the rebound went over their head anyway. It was just bad timing for BYU, and I don't think Jimmer was more at fault than anyone else.

"If we'd have gotten it, we'd have had about eight seconds left differential," Fredette said. "I'd have had the ball in my hands at the end."

Note to Jimmer: To get the ball, one must occasionally check one's man and/or box said man out. One did neither.

Hence, based on that one play, he will never be good in the NBA ever, and be delivering pizzas with his teammates in 5 years.

"The weird thing is, [his defense] has gotten progressively worse over the year," says Fredette's own teammate, Nick Martineau.

Whoah, is throwing your teammate under the bus in the BYU honor code?

"From the start, he's never really been accountable to it, but it's just gotten looser as the year's gone on. But he can play defense. He really can. He'll definitely tighten it up for the NBA."

He'd better.

Or else God will smite him.

"I just want to take a couple weeks off and then start getting ready to try to make an NBA team," said the man who probably will be voted about five player of the year awards. "That's my dream, to make an NBA team."

Fine. That he can do. But you think this barely 6-2 kid with no speed and YMCA hops can be the next Maravich or Ainge or Westbrook?

Maravich and Westbrook? Probably not. Ainge? Quite Possibly. JJ Reddick or Stephen Curry? Most likely yes.

Also, I know you don't write for SI anymore, but at least look at their covers sometime. These ain't YMCA hops.

Fredette about it.

I hate you so much.


  1. YES! Couldn't agree more. Thanks for the entertaining read!

  2. Rick Reilly sucks at basketball writing. Having said that, the SI cover has forced perspective written all over it. If Jimmer jumps at the NBA draft combine he goes lower than Gordon Heyward, probably closer to Psycho T or Luke Harangody. And no, I'm not mad because I had Gonzaga in the Elite 8.

  3. Also for Rick Reilly, if the only game you watched was Kobe Bryant's 2010 Finals game 7 where he went 6 of 24, you would say he isn't a good player either. John Stockton didn't have hops and he made it just fine in the NBA.

  4. thank you. thank you. thank you.

    self-absorbed dooshy tool > reilly

    such poor journalism. (among other things, since when is a 36" vert, "ymca hops"?)

    i hate him... so HARD!

  5. Thanks for the refreshing perspective

    I really used to like reilly, but this reminded me of a vindictive woman suffering from pms

  6. hahahaahaha AWESOME!

  7. I hate him so much too!

  8. Reilly's too smart to have been so stupid in revealing his ugly bigotry against Mormon, while slaughtering the facts in such a blatant hatchet job. I think he was drunk from a celebratory night in Big Easy when he wrote it.

  9. Thanks for calling out Prick Reilly. Really.

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  11. Well said! Reilly was good in his SI days. Now he's... just awful. Or as Charles Barkley would say: Turrabull.

  12. Reilly is a douche, just trying to stir up some controversy. He voted Jimmer as POY, so you know he thinks the kid can play. He just sucks at writing.

  13. Jimmer has excellent hops for a 6'2" guard. His vertical leap at last year's NBA test was 36 inches. Keep in mind that only 15 NBA players measure at 38 inches or more. By the way, I added up the heights and weights of all 30 starting NBA point guards, and the average is 6'2" and 190 pounds (actual figures 74.0667 inches and 190.3667 pounds). So Jimmer will fit right in as a point guard. One of the misconceptions I constantly heard from national commentators was that Jimmer would have to switch positions in the NBA, where he would be forced to play the 1. They obviously didn't watch Jimmer, who ended up No. 3 on the all-time assists list in the Mountain West Conference. He average about 4.5 assists per game, about the same as Kemba Walker, who drew raves for his ability to distribute. I say Jimmer will be an impact player in the NBA. He's a better shooter and dribbler and passer than about half of the current starting point guards in the NBA. He's athletic enough and tough enough and works hard enough that I'm convinced he'll play at least average on defense and probably will have the drive to excel in D as well.

  14. Jimmer got drafted by the Sacramento Kings. So they DID surround him with pizza delivery guys!