I feel like I’ve progressed and continue to get better. Hopefully, I’ll continue to get more minutes and see how things go. —Jimmer Fredette
Jimbo to Jimmer (Dec. 26, 2013): 15 Christmases from now, women will have 2010’s parties and all wear leggings with crazy designs on them as a joke. RT?
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jimmer Fredette has been in the NBA since 2011 after taking the basketball world by storm with his highly entertaining style, range and moxie at BYU.
The sharpshooter was a fan favorite at Sacramento as Kings faithful, BYU bandwagoners included, were optimistic that his high-octane college game would translate into the pros.
Four years and three teams into his pro career, it still hasn’t.
Hope remains, though, from the ever-positive Fredette and from his ardent supporters, who have actively followed his career from Provo to Sacramento, Chicago and, now, to New Orleans.
“I feel like I’ve progressed and continue to get better,” Fredette said this week before his Pelicans beat the Jazz 119-111. “Hopefully, I’ll continue to get more minutes and see how things go.”
Some NBA fans are awaiting more than just a professional breakout from Jimmer. In Utah sports Twitter circles, there is a building anticipation over when/if Fredette will retweet a message sent to him from a persistent and entertaining fan who goes by the social-media name of @JimboRudding.
Jimbo, who writes a humor column for the popular Jazz blog SaltCityHoops.com, has been clamoring for a retweet (an “RT”) since he first tweeted at Fredette on July 5, 2011. That message: “Hey Jimmer, can I get an RT for being really nice to my brother during the holiday and for holding doors for the elderly?”
Fredette did not give him an RT, which would broadcast the tweet to Fredette's 144,000 followers.
The Pelicans guard did not retweet Jimbo this past Wednesday, either, when the fan with nearly 1,100 Twitter followers wrote to him, “I don’t know about you, but I never call it ‘last minute’ unless I’m wrapping up a couple cans of Pringles. RT for that?”
During the pregame interview, Fredette smiled when @JimboRudding’s antics were brought up. Between that first tweet about being nice to his brother and elderly people through the admission about chips/gifts, Jimbo has sent him hundreds of witty, wacky and wild messages. He guesstimates it could be as many as 800 tweets.
Jimbo wants Fredette to know he’s not a stalker. He’s just doing this for fun. (Don’t tell anyone, especially not Jimmer, but Jimbo doesn’t really care if Fredette ever retweets him, either.)
“I mainly, just out of curiosity, want to know if he is even aware of the amount of my life I'm wasting,” said Jimbo, who's also a co-host on SLCDunk.com's weekly podcast.
Jimbo to Jimmer: Is there any way you could get a bowl cut before the first game of the season so that I know you got this? RT?
Ever noticed the flood of odd requests and suggestions coming from this creative guy?
“I definitely see them,” said a smiling Fredette, who, by the way, did not get a bowl cut. “I think everybody on my Twitter account kind of likes it. They get a kick out of it with some of the things that he says.”
Jimbo to Jimmer: “Just between me and you, I once reenacted that pottery scene from Ghost with a breakfast burrito. RT for that?”
Although he openly remains positive, the 25-year-old Fredette is having his quietest season in the NBA.
New Orleans signed him to a one-year deal this past summer after things didn't pan out with the Kings or Bulls. But Fredette, derided by critics for his defense, is averaging career-lows in minutes played (9.3), points (1.9) and shooting percentage (.293 through 15 games). He’s even struggling with his forte — outside shooting — having only connected on 1 of 11 from beyond the 3-point arc in a Pelicans uniform. That, after Fredette looked like he might’ve finally found a good fit with a strong preseason.
Jimbo to Jimmer: Used too much hair gel & my fingers are sticking together while trying to play Everything I Do on the piano for my gf (girlfriend). RT?
Don’t look to Fredette for anything but a positive comment about his situation.
“Things are good. I continue to work hard. Our team is doing well. We’re trying to figure everything out,” said Fredette, who had three assists and two points against the Jazz.
“Hopefully, we can continue to get better and grow as a group. But things are going well out here. I’m really enjoying it, having a good time.”
Jimbo to Jimmer: I drew this pic of us ballin. We couldn’t find a ball so we decided to shoot bananas. RT for that? (Drawing of them shooting bananas at the hoop included.)
Fredette maintains his mantra of trying to become more comfortable by working his tail off and providing “whatever the team needs” when he gets opportunities on a Pelicans squad that has a good starting point guard in Jrue Holiday and recently signed another playmaker in Gal Mekel.
“That’s all you can do is go out there and practice hard,” Fredette said. “And when you get an opportunity to get in a game, go out there and play the best you can and make good plays.”
Jimbo to Jimmer: I once butt-dialed a friend and he sat there for 11 minutes just listening to me eat a sleeve of E.L. Fudges. RT for that?
Fredette is grateful to the Pelicans for extending his NBA career, but he’s also been enjoying the opportunity to experience the unique New Orleans culture.
He loves the French-inspired city. He says NOLA residents “are all really nice.” And the food. He's crazy about the cajun cuisine.
“I’ve tried crawfish. I’ve tried oysters, different things. I’ve had PoBoys and beignets some gumbo,” Fredette said with the enthusiasm of a foodie. “I’ve tried it all. I love food and I’m pretty willing to try anything. We’re in a good city to be able to do that.”
Jimbo to Jimmer: Did you ever meet a guy at BYU who DIDN’T know how to play the first part of “More Than Words” on the guitar? RT for that?
Fredette expressed some disbelief when he was shown the game notes ahead of the Jazz-Pelicans contest. It listed No. 32 as being 6-2, 195 pounds, born in 1989 and having played for “Bringham Young.”
“Ah, funny, look at that,” he said of the misspelling. “Not even close.”
Fredette laughed when it was suggested that Bringham Young University might be located in the state of New Pork.
The former NCAA player of the year does keep close tabs on his Brigham Young team. He was able to watch part of the Maui Invitational. He credited Tyler Haws, Kyle Collinsworth and Anson Winder for playing well.
“They’re an exciting team to watch. They score a lot of baskets. They play uptempo,” he said. “I’ve been able to watch and it’s been a lot of fun.”
Jimbo to Jimmer: It’d be so cool if Sarah McLachlan played the Super Bowl & when Angel came on TONS of dogs parachuted into the stadium. RT?
Fredette hasn’t talked to Haws in great length about the BYU senior’s impending efforts to get drafted into the NBA. But if he were to give Haws advice it would be to keep doing what he’s doing and forget about the pros until next spring.
“That’s one thing NBA execs and everybody likes is that he works hard and he can shoot the ball really well. I think he’s going to be fine,” Fredette said.
“He just needs to continue to play well and stay focused on his game and about this season, just have as much fun as possibly can this year and worry about the rest later.”
Jimbo to Jimmer: You and Siri are some of my best friends. Can I get an RT for that?
As the legend goes, Jimbo will end his Jimmer RT pursuit with one simple retweet.
Which brings us to the most important question: Has Jimmer ever considered giving @JimboRudding a retweet?
“Not yet,” Fredette said. “He’s really going to have to catch my eye.”
Jimbo to Jimmer: Instead of a moment of silence at my funeral, I’d rather have a moment of everyone trying to sing like Aaron Neville. RT?
If it hasn’t happened by his memorial services, @JimboRudding would probably settle for an RT from @jimmerfredette.
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