AP
Phoenix Suns guard Jimmer Fredette (32) runs up court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, March 25, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

I once had a former BYU basketball player tell me another ex-Cougar had offered this advice on playing professionally: Play as long as you can, whenever and wherever, because it’s not coming around later in life.

Giving up on the NBA doesn't necessarily mean giving up on basketball.

When I saw Jimmer Fredette is reportedly signing a contract with Panathinaikos, a team in Greece, my first thought was to wonder if it isn’t time to retire. He has played for five NBA teams and been on a couple of summer league teams, too. But the dream of sticking in the NBA appears over. Fredette has starred in China and made big money — reportedly around $2 million annually.

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Fredette is 30, so he has a few years of basketball left in him. After that he will spend the next 30 years doing something that isn’t as fun. Despite the family hardship of playing internationally, he has obviously ironed out some of those details. So when I see he has missed another chance at the NBA and taken another job overseas, my thought is, “Go for it.”

There will be plenty of time to sit at a desk.

Whether in China, Europe or the NBA, there aren’t many opportunities with that job description, or that kind of paycheck. Jimmer didn’t stick with the Suns or Warriors this year?

Everyone should be so lucky.