Matt Petersen: Former college rivals, Jimmer Fredette and Kawhi Leonard have found opposite fates in NBA

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  • Y-Ask-Y? Provo, UT
    June 15, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    I don't hate Jimmer, either. But I could tell he didn't have what it takes to make it in the NBA, and so far my prognostication has been spot on.

    The unfortunate thing is when Jimmer's die-hard fans continue to make poor excuses for his below-mediocre performance in the NBA.

    Blame it on the coach, blame it on the team dynamic, blame it on the refs... whatever. Truly talented basketball players take responsibility for their own performance and don't blame it on everyone else.

    Jimmer is not one of those true talents. Period.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    June 15, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    Leonard was picked by a goodteam that let him shine by giving him the opportunity, Fredette was picked by a looser. The coach was a looser. Given the right team Fredette could also shine. To bad he has to be the token.

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    June 13, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Jimmer’s PER of 14.66 compares favorably with other role players in the NBA. Out of 344 players that quality (have 6.7 min/game or more), Jimmer ranks 154th, right in the middle (and 37th of 82 point guards). And that is on a “me first” team. That ranking is better than Danny Green, Jordan Crawford, Andrew Bogut, Jared Sullinger, Mike Miller, Jason Kidd, Tony Allen, Ben Gordon, Brandon Knight, Alec Burks, Lamar Odom… Also, this last season Jimmer’s three point percentage of .417 ranked 17th in the NBA, not too shabby. While I doubt that he will ever become an all-star, I still believe that Jimmer will have a long and productive NBA career as a role player.

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    June 13, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Re: Chris B and SoonerUte

    “A good shooter can overcome MWC teams most nights. You need to be an "athlete" to succeed in the NBA”

    “The delay of putting the ball on the floor wasn't a factor in mid-major ball, but its hurting him in the NBA.”

    Jimmer played well against the best teams he faced. Here are a few statistics to back that up.

    vs. USU: 26 points
    vs. St. Mary’s 24/4 assists
    vs. Arizona: 49/7/9; 33, 9 rebounds
    vs. UCLA: 25
    vs. UNLV: 39/6/5; 29, 7 assists
    vs. Utah: 47/6; 23/5
    vs. #4 SDSU: 43 points; 25/9; 30, 6 rebounds
    vs. New Mexico: 32/7; 33/5/6, 52
    vs. Wofford (NCAA tourney): 32 and 7
    vs. Gonzaga (NCAA 2nd round): 34 and 6
    vs. Florida (sweet 16): 32 and 5; (NCAA 1st round 2010: 37 points)
    vs. KSU (2nd round 2010): 21 and 5

    Remember that in college he was almost always double and triple teamed, yet he still unleashed 49 on Arizona, 47 on Utah, 52 on New Mexico, and 32 and 37 on Florida.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    June 12, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    Spokane ute:
    I won't argue with your opinion, but I think Jimmer is a better shooter and player than Adam Morrison. Yes, he doesn't play great defense, but again, there are many players who have thrived in key roles in the NBA without being great defenders (Dirk Nawinski).

    Wookie: I am also a lifelong Niner fan, but will be cheering on Alex Smith. He was dealt kind of a dirty hand in Fisco (name me the last QB who was #1 in the league in pass efficiency that lost his job). However, Kap is just ridiculously good, so I understand why harbaugh did it. Alex was always class, despite how poorly some fans treated him. I hope he tears the AFC apart to prove all his critics wrong.

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    June 11, 2013 7:33 p.m.


    The Utes have twice as many players on an NBA roster as the cougs. Andrew Bogut and Andre Miller were important contributors on playoff teams.

    Just Say'n

    Jimmer is a nice kid

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    June 11, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    @ Wookie: I was going to write that same thing down myself. Some Utah fans bash Jimmer the same way some byu fans bashed Smith. The problem is, if his situation changes and he thrives under a new environment, people like Chris B will never give him his due just like byu people like ducky will never give Alex his due, not because it is not deserved, but only because of their hatred for the other program. When Jimmer played in college, I couldn't stand him....because he beat the heck out of us. But that has nothing to do with the kid as an individual.

    I wish only the best for Jimmer. I hope he can endure through the hard times and come out prepared to make his mark when the cloud lifts, just like Alex has done.

    Go Utes!

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    June 11, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    Spokane Ute

    Good points. I find myself cheering for KC this year and I've been a lifelong 9er fan.

    GO UTES!!

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    June 11, 2013 4:13 p.m.


    Personally, I don't hate Jimmer, he's just not making it in the NBA. As far as comparing him to what Alex Smith did? It's possible, but two different players, in two differn't sports. Smith doesn't have to play defense. A new team might help, but the Kings are the worst team in the NBA. I think Adam Morrison is a better comparison. JMO

    Time will tell Guy! Have a good one; and yes; GO UTES!

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    June 11, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    Spokane Ute:

    Agreed, but how many Y fans who hated Alex constantly said he had no game to which he has proven otherwise? Can one not make the same argument for Jimmer? I think its a viable argument.

    GO UTES!!

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    June 11, 2013 1:44 p.m.


    Big difference between hating and giving an honest opinion. Certain players have a game fit for the NBA, certain players do not. A change of scenery may help, then again it didn't help Adam Morrison. A player has to be complete to make it in the NBA.

  • just-a-fan Bountiful, UT
    June 11, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    I'll never understand anyone who puts down Jimmer (not talking about the article). He is a great young man and an awesome player. I'm a BYU fan and I feel the same way about Ute grad Alex Smith and other athletes in red. Great people shouldn't be ragged on.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    June 11, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    " ....Leonard is a good athlete.

    Jimmer is not .... "

    Jimmer was consensus Player of The Year - Leonard was not.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    June 11, 2013 1:05 p.m.

    Jimmer reminds me a lot of Alex Smith and his story to some extent. Bad team, bad coaches. Change of coaches and he thrives. I hope this to be the case for Jimmer too. Too bad all the haters, from both the U and the Y focus on their hatred rather than on relavant facts. Jimmer has game, he will be solid if given a chance, just like Alex, once given a good environment, has thrived.

    GO UTES!!

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    June 11, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    No more pathetic excuses and no more pathetic judgments of Jimmer and his NBA skills and his current situation. Sacramento will be better under new ownership and coaches so that will change in a short amount of time. Jimmer needs to work on his game so that he is ready when he comes of the bench. He is not and will never been in Coach Rose's system in the NBA so he needs to learn to adjust. For all the haters, leave it be, he is better than you are and will make it in the NBA even it just a role player used to stretch defenses and shoot a game winning shot. He is an NBA quality shooter.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    June 11, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    It doesn't matter where Jimmer goes, he can't play defense. Reminds me of Adam Morrison of Gonzaga.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 11, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    Jimmer doesn't fit Sacramento. The Kings need to trade him and allow him to flourish elsewhere on a team and system that fits him. Jimmer is a system type player and needs a coach and system that allow him to play off the bench at the 2 guard and give him the freedom to shoot. Lots of other players have floundered in the NBA until they found their right fit on a team and system that makes sense. The Kings won't get much for Jimmer but they didn't pay much for him either so it's 50/50.

  • Richard Larson Galt, CA
    June 11, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    How's the hype treating
    you jimmy?
    Love the picture, PRICELESS!!!

  • milner Centerfield Sanpete, UT
    June 11, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Jimmer could be a good player on a team that needs a good outside shooter!

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    So let's see if I understand:

    The guy the Spurs assign to guard the MVP in the NBA Finals
    Couldn't stop Jimmer in college
    But Jimmer doesn't have the "talent" to make it in the NBA?

    Maybe someone should rethink that thinking.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    June 11, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    Confusion reigned at that draft, the fact that Leonard could drop to the Spurs while the hype around Jimmer was huge and overblown.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    He could be awesome if only the coach would let him be.

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    The NBA draft has placed Jimmer with a team that is lost--without leadership. He also has a limited skill set and it is not able to flourish within the Kings organization. Yes, I believe he could be used as a role player on many NBA teams. When his contract is up he may get a second chance, and it should be more important than the money, that he choose a team that is a good fit to signs with.

    On the other hand, there is no shame in not making it in the NBA, after all it is the highest degree of basketball played on the planet. Jimmer would not be the first college all star not to pan out in the NBA.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    June 11, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    Ever heard of Jeff hornaseck, and mark price? How about Steve Kerr?
    He needs a different coach.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    June 11, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    Because you are in a bad situation does not mean you are without talent.

    Does anyone remember a guy by the name of Steve Young, went to the USFL and played on a team where they did not understand his talents? They used him in some sequences as a running back..why? Is it they had a better or more talented quarterback...not really, just the coach who was not in his right mind.

    Later when he changed to a system more suited to his needs and a coach in touch with reality he became a superbowl champion...but not as a running back.

    Jimmer has talent, proven for years in college. It will probably emerge again in the NBA.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    June 11, 2013 12:29 a.m.

    @Chris B

    Two comments:

    1) If Leonard is so superior to Fredette perhaps you can explain why Jimmer was a Lottery Pick and Leonard was not???... Or perhaps you can explain why Jimmer's Cougs beat Leonard's Aztecs every time they played except the last meeting when Davies was out???...

    2)So what pro team is one of the Ute stars on??? LOL... A fan of the University Utah simply doesn't have license to be critical of Fredette or any other BYU Player... In order to do that you have to be better than 1-11 over the past 7 years...

    Nuff said.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    June 10, 2013 9:56 p.m.

    For all the haters saying Jimmer isn't an athlete and thats why he isnt doing as well in the guys really have no clue what you're talking about. The NBA isn't just for great athletes, some of the best players of all time weren't known for their athleticism...anyone heard of Larry Bird or John Stockton? Leonard and Fredette still text and talk often, and Leonard has commented before that he thinks Jimmer would be better off somewhere else (I'll look for the source).

    Cougarfan99: you hit it right on the head...for the minutes he played Jimmer had good numbers. Imagine what he would do on a team that actually ran an offense, and where slashers actually looked for open shooters instead of "getting theirs".

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    June 10, 2013 9:50 p.m.

    I am astonished that many Ute fans would be dogging on Jimmer Fredette. No player dismantled Utah in the MWC like Jimmer did. Not Leonard. Not even a close second. You may not like the guy but you have to respect his performance against your Utes. To not, is disingenuous, and merely shows your blind hatred of all things BYU.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    June 10, 2013 9:38 p.m.

    Free Jimmer!!

    Give him a chance on just about ANY other NBA team, and if he bombs that, then I'll concede that maybe he wasn't cut out to be a major contributor in the NBA. For his skills he couldn't possibly be on a worse team and play for a worse coach.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    June 10, 2013 9:18 p.m.

    @ Chris B.

    Let's see you play Jimmer one on one.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2013 9:07 p.m.

    Heard some analysis once that Fredette doesn't catch and shoot. He always puts the ball on the floor at least one time before shooting. The delay of putting the ball on the floor wasn't a factor in mid-major ball, but its hurting him in the NBA. Hard to imagine with his work ethic that he hasn't spent a lot of time working with an NBA shooting coach. Maybe this will be his break out year. Hate to see such promise go out riding a bench.

  • Sacramento Ute SACRAMENTO, CA
    June 10, 2013 8:19 p.m.

    Under the Maloof ownership the last few years the Kings just plain sucked. Finally fired that terrible coach. It was not a "team", just a bunch of "me" players. Jimmer needs a new start on a team that can use his talent. I'm not a Jimmer fan, but he wasn't given a chance here.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    June 10, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    Jimmer is no Danny Ainge and never will be.

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    June 10, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    Chris B.

    What do you do for a living? I'm amazed at your pessimistic comments. Jimmer is an amazing human being, and I'd trade any accomplishment in "the world" to be like this guy!

    NBA? Nice, but not the goal of life my friend, hope you find as much good and do as much good as Jimmer. And, who knows, he might still have a few surprises up his sleeve! Pun intended.

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    June 10, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    Chris B

    Jimmer is a much better shooter than Leonard and given the opportunity on a unselfish team that understands how to pass the ball to an open shooter, Jimmer could be a very productive NBA player.

  • Mark321 Las Vegas, NV
    June 10, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    @ Chris B

    Thanks Chris B for providing support to BYU with all the hits and comments you've made on BYU articles. Utah articles never provide the kind of attention with hits and comments that BYU receives thanks to people like you. Whether they be intelligent or hateful comments, I welcome both because ultimately it's supporting the Cougars. Keep commenting Cris.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2013 4:26 p.m.


    Leonard is a good athlete.

    Jimmer is not

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    One player has the talent level needed for the NBA, the other in named Jimmy.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2013 4:00 p.m.

    It's all about the team. Jimmer is on a bad one, Leonard is on a good one.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    June 10, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    Let's talk about utah basketball for a while. Oh, wait. crickets, crickets.

  • Cougarfan99 Provo, Utah, UT
    June 10, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    The lack of awareness by Des News writers and readers about Jimmer's situation in Sacramento continues to astonish. Ever heard of "coach" Keith "Smart" recently fired King's head coach? "Smart" is the same "coach" who benched Jeremy Lin (shortly thereafter Knicks and Rockets star) for an entire season at Golden State; and treated Steph Curry in like manner. Early in the 2012-13 season as Jimmer was top five in the NBA in points per minute for point guards and #1 in the NBA in free throw percentage, Smart frequently benched him the better he played; his treatment of Jimmer was inexplicable beyond anything those who follows the NBA have ever seen.

    Jimmer shot nearly 43% from behind the arch for the year (leading the team) and he played team ball on a team famous for its selfishness. Through it all he endured with a level of class and grace rarely exhibited. Go to youtube and watch a few highlights or just read the game threads about Jimmer on ESPN for examples of what he accomplished in his short 14 min per game. It might surprise reader and writer alike to be slighly informed on the subject.

  • NevadaCoug Overton, NV
    June 10, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    Situation means a whole lot to development. Leonard ended up on THE model franchise of the NBA. He's been allowed to find his niche. Jimmer ended up on a mess of a team where nobody knows his role. How is a guy supposed to find his niche in an environment like that?

    Had their places been reversed, would Leonard be the one named as a bust? Who knows. But I can guarantee you he wouldn't be enjoying the success in Sacramento that he has in San Antonio.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    Keep shooting Jimmer. a little luck, a little timing and good things will happen.

    No worries what all the deadbeats have to say.

  • sg newhall, CA
    June 10, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    Sacramento drafted Jimmer without a plan. This team and its coach have no idea how to utilize his abilities. Trade him. It is absolutely foolish to keep him in Sacramento. The Kings is a pathetic organization. Drafting additional point and shooting guards after Jimmer confirmed that this organization, and particular the general manager and coach don't know what they are doing. Trade him or release him. Let him find a team that can use him and groom him. Sacramento Kings is a garbage organization.

  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    June 10, 2013 1:57 p.m.


    LOL! Jimmer has probably made more $$$ in his first two seasons playing in the NBA than you'll make in a lifetime.

    You said Jimmer wasn't good enough to play in the NBA, yet he's averaged 7.4 ppg and 16.2 mpg in 130 games playing for one of the worst managed and coached teams in the league - not stellar, but light years ahead of your jealous predictions.

    Jimmer could easily be averaging double-digit scoring if he played for a team and coach who had a clue about how to pass the ball to an open, spot-up shooter.

    Jimmer may never be a full-time starter, but on the right team, with the right coach and offensive scheme, he could still be a very valuable bench player.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    @rescueguy - just ignore this cb. I won't read him nor will I respond. Just skip this chris/chrissy or whatever this one was.

    Sac is overloaded with gaurds and Jimmer need to be traded now. Jimmer should have never displayed his bench look as shown on picture above.

  • rescueguy Spanish Fork, UT
    June 10, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    Well, well, well. Here is Chris B., back again to say "I told you so." Funny thing is, Chris B., and I are chatting on a comment board while Jimmer is, indeed, in the NBA. Happy dreams Chris.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2013 12:53 p.m.


    I called this years ago.

    Doesn't matter the team, doesn't matter the system.

    Leonard is an amazing "athlete"

    Jimmer is a good shooter

    A good shooter can overcome MWC teams most nights

    You need to be an "athlete" to succeed in the NBA.

    Enjoy Europe Jimmer!