ESPN.com's Rick Reilly drew significant criticism for his recent column on BYU's Jimmer Fredette.
This week, Reilly opens his mail bag and reveals some of the reaction to his comments about Fredette, expanding the debate as to whether Fredette will or will not succeed in the NBA.
"The best hate mail in America comes from BYU fans," Reilly writes. "Even when they're spitting 20-penny nails, they're still incurably nice. Alabama fans will write hoping you die a slow, painful death, staked to an anthill while your mom watches, but the worst a BYU fan will say to you is that you're not going to heaven."
Reilly added that he's going to put his money where his mouth is. "The funny thing is, I hope he does become an NBA star," he writes. "He's humble, friendly and smart. It's just not going to happen. In fact, if Jimmer Fredette ever makes an NBA All-Star team, I'll donate $10,000 to his favorite charity, even if it's The Society to Stick Sharp Things in the Eyes of Aging Sports Writers. Tell you what, I'll donate $5,000 if he starts a game, any game, his first year in the league. I'm serious."
Meanwhile, it's been quite a week Fredette. He's been in Houston, accepting a bevy of player-of-the-year awards. However, knowing how competitive he is, Fredette certainly would have preferred being in Houston with his Cougar teammates, playing in the Final Four. Fredette has beaten out UConn's Kemba Walker for the most prestigious awards, but Walker has helped his team reach tonight's championship game against Butler.
Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal looks at Fredette's situation in an article titled "Jimmer has the trophies, Kemba has a game to play."
The Houston Chronicle runs down the list of awards Fredette has earned in recent days.