SALT LAKE CITY -- Please, pay no heed to Jimmer’s grassroots bid.
In fact, I implore you not to elect The Jimmer as mayor of Sacramento, or governor of California. Republican or Democrat, independent or whatever party Trump invents, Jimmer must not be voted into the oval office of the greatest country in the world either. Or even king of Canada.
I am here to stop this shortsighted movement in its tracks. Think for just a moment of the ramifications!
Not only would a cheerleader possibly become the first lady, but presidential duties -- both domestic and foreign -- would severely limit President Jimmer’s time in the paint. Would Jimmer himself be able to hit three-pointers from downtown Jimmerland with hampered practice time and annoyingly obvious secret service?
Hopefully, now that the NBA has drafted Jimmer to the Sacramento Kings, we will never again know a league devoid of someone who loves the game as much as Jimmer Fredette. Nothing must stand in the way of him bringing basketball into the next century of greatness. Not politics, not world travel, not the chipped concrete “build some street cred” court of the White House.
It’s not that I am blinded by Jimmer's accolades or charmed by his points per game. I don’t care that he is the most decorated athlete in Brigham Young University history, or that he has several national player of the year awards, including the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the Adolph Rupp Award and the Associated Press Player of the Year Award.
Yes, Jimmer won the Naismith, where fan voting accounts for 25 percent of the final vote, which almost makes him the incumbent. No other BYU player has ever won the Naismith award. Not even Danny Ainge, whom many wish to see as Jimmer’s chosen running mate -- kind of a new school/old school, May/September, Obama/Biden thing.
The Oscar Robertson Trophy was voted on by 900 sports journalists who have always had the good of the country at heart. And they voted for Jimmer.
Everyone, that is, but one rogue voter from the 65-member AP media panel that selects the weekly top 25 voted for Jimmer for the AP All-American team. Rumor is that the one dissenting voter was too busy trying to unload Ohio State football memorabilia to get the vote right.
I am aware of all of the decorations bestowed by a grateful public. I know that happy fans equal happy voters, and yet I say that the presidency is not in the cards for The Jimmer.
Jimmer, months before his first NBA outing, has been busy filling a hole in the NBA that the NBA doesn’t even realize has been missing or why they have been missing it.
Jimmer likes people, and people like love Jimmer Fredette. He is "humble, friendly and smart,” says ESPN commentator Rick Reilly. Local blogs say, “All of BYU feels like they are best friends with this guy. He isn't (called) like a typical athlete would be called -- he’s Jimmer, and you guys go waaaaay back."
Jimmer's appeal doesn’t stop with the locals. Sports Illustrated writer Kelli Anderson called him a "Jimmer Dandy” and a “Scoring Machine.” The Jazz could use a scoring machine, especially “one who is in range as soon as he steps off the bus.”
There is something to be said for the guy who has established that he will play his heart out and not throw tantrums. Potential draft picks should have a category on their score chard for sportsmanship, professionalism and getting along with coaches.
Bottom line for me is that I love to watch him play. The fact that he is not on my team only means that I am picking up a new team to follow. I would pay to see him play. I would pay to see Jimmer play the same way I would pay to see any great who loves what he does, and is incredible at it. Jimmer being part of the game means I will be at least be paying attention -- unlike many years in the past -- unlike last year.
When I see Jimmer I see a joy for the game that I haven’t seen in years except with Derek Jeter or Chipper Jones of the MLB, or Troy Polamalu of the NFL. Or John Stockton, a little closer to home.
The business end of the game has taken over, and I am not interested in the NBA as a business. I am hoping that Jimmer will breathe some non-corporate air into the league. Have you seen Jimmer open his mouth and scream? There is a lot of oxygen being utilized -- all new air.
I will be watching wherever he plays, and for whomever. You will know how he did in his game just by looking at our front porch. There will be one light on if by land, two if by sea, and three if by Jimmer.
Mr. Cheney had a basketball thrown at him once, but he is not bitter. Find other writings of his at davisoncheney.blogspot.com.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company