Jimmer joins Knicks and does something rare in N.Y. — makes a basket
The New York Knicks are 24-34, are the fifth-worst 3-point-shooting team in the NBA, and shoot less than 44 percent from the field.
So really, how much worse could Jimmer Fredette do in the Big Apple?
The former college Player of the Year got another chance in the NBA on Monday, signing a 10-day contract with the Knicks early in the day. And hours later, he did something quite unusual for the folks at Madison Square Garden.
He made a 3-point basket.
Interim coach Kurt Rambis said before the game there were no plans to use Fredette on Monday night against Toronto, but then put the former BYU star in with 1:49 left in a 122-95 blowout defeat.
Fredette made a 3-pointer on his only shot attempt.
Before the game, Rambis didn’t sound committed to using Fredette at all while he’s here.
“He’s going to have to exhibit bringing something to the table that’s better than what we already have here. He’s going to have to outplay somebody,” Rambis told The Associated Press.
“I’m not going to displace somebody that’s been here all year and has been working hard in practice, and we kind of know what the individuals on our team bring, their strengths and weaknesses. So if there’s something that he could bring that’s a little bit better, then he’ll get an opportunity. If not, it’s really hard to just throw somebody in like that, but we’ll see.”
Heck, teammate Carmelo Anthony didn’t even know the Jimmer’s name.
Obviously, ‘Melo doesn’t watch much D-League.
Fredette has spent most of the season with Westchester, the Knicks’ NBA Development League affiliate, averaging 21.8 points and shooting 40.5 percent from 3-point range. He was the MVP of the NBA D-League All-Star Game after scoring 35 points.
“I feel like I’m pretty confident with my ability right now, just being able to get consistent minutes on a nightly basis, being able to go out there and show what I can do again and feel comfortable playing a lot of minutes and getting my shots off and knowing exactly where I’m going to get my shots,” Fredette told The AP. “And then continuing to work defensively, and I feel like I’ve gotten better at that end of the floor as well.”
Fredette was the No. 10 pick in the 2011 draft after leading the nation with 28.9 points per game that season at BYU. But he has managed just 6.0 per game for three teams in the NBA, including a brief stint with New Orleans earlier this season.
Asked what he had seen of Fredette at Westchester to think he could be successful this time, Rambis said: “Well, a lot of that comes from management, too.”
“He’s had some good offensive nights there, he’s also struggled shooting the basketball,” he said. “But he’s been in the league a little bit, he’s had some moments in the league and he is somebody that can shoot the ball, and if there’s a time when we need that sort of versatility, that floor spacing, somebody that’s very aggressive offensively, then that might be something that we’d use.”