Jimmer to the Jazz: The Fans Take

As we draw closer to the NBA draft we keep hearing all sorts of potential scenarios around the league. It’s impossible for anyone to predict what things may happen to change the draft order, but there is much talk about it.

Locally the banter has been whether or not the Utah Jazz want to draft the consensus national player of the year, BYU’s own Jimmer Fredette and what they’d have to do to be in position to do so. So until we know for sure what happens next week, I decided to interview several Jazz fans. Some were BYU fans but I was also able to see how some Ute and Aggie fans feel about that possibility as well.

I asked them all the same question first: “As a Ute/Aggie/Cougar and Jazz fan why or why wouldn’t it bother you if Jimmer is in a Jazz uniform next year.” A few were asked more questions.

Lets start with the Ute fans. Chris started things off. (Follow him on twitter @UTESnJAZZ, you won’t regret it).

“First of all, as Jazz fan, I’m not a player fan, I’m a team fan. I’m grateful for what players do for the Jazz, but only as far as they help the team win. If Kobe or Pau (who I really dislike) played for the Jazz tomorrow, I’d be a Kobe or Pau fan tomorrow. Therefore, If Jimmer helps the Jazz win I don’t care where he came from.

Second, as a Ute fan, I said this about Jimmer earlier this season: My relationship with Jimmer was the same as Cougarfan’s was with Eric Weddle. My team was in the dumps and he was too good and too classy not to like. Jimmer was fun to watch, but more importantly he was never a jackass off the court. He never once said anything along the lines of an Austin Collie/Max Hall comment. He was a class act, you had to take your hat off to him.”

Next Question: If Jimmer ended up being a detriment to the Jazz, would it bother you even more that he was a former Cougar?

“I doubt it, could he be any worse than Rafa (Rafael Araujo) was? If anything it gives you a little more ammo to poke fun at cougarfan. As a Jazz fan I would never root against any Jazz player regardless of their past teams.”

Here’s what Jordan had to say.

“I think Jimmer is an incredible player. He has done things no other player in Utah college’s history has ever done. I don’t think he is overrated, I just got sick of the fans and their antics as an excuse to say Lo here & Lo there about Jimmer & BYU. I think he would bring a huge following to the Jazz and that would be great for the franchise. Do I think he is the next Blake Griffin and his dunks or Derek Rose and his crazy drives to the hoop, no. I don’t think his range out at the three point line will be a signature for him like Griffin’s jumps and Rose’s speed and agility but he will be a solid player with the ability to score when needed and maybe that’s all the Jazz need right now. Someone who will play ball and answer the call when needed.”

Q: If the “Jimmermania” from the fans continued while he played for the Jazz, would it bother you to the point where you’d prefer him to be traded or seek another destination in free agency?

“If the “Jimmermania” fans forget that he is a former BYU player and not a current one I think it will get old. Not just as a Ute fan but as a sports fan. I like to keep tabs on former Utes like Eric Weddle and Andre Miller, and I’ll admit I am a Chargers fan based solely on the fact that Eric Weddle plays there but I don’t over do it by constantly referring to his college career and living HIS glory days. I fear many fans may live in the Past-Jimmer Days, not the Current Ones.”

Up next representing the Utes was Aaron.

“As a Ute fan it doesn’t bother me because I think Jimmer’s game fits well in Utah regardless of the college he played for. It’s yet to be seen, but if he makes the Jazz better then why would it matter? I think his assets are something the Jazz lacked last year as a team. They need someone to stretch the defense and Jimmer can definitely do that.”

Q: If he ended up being a detriment, would his “former Cougar” status influence you to dislike him?

“No it wouldn’t. His play on the court would determine that.”

Lots of feedback from the Ute fans. There were two Trevor’s who both wouldn’t mind the idea of Fredette staying in Utah as a professional basketball player. Here’s what they had to say.

Trevor 1

“It wouldn’t bother me. The Jazz need a shooter. … If he’s available at twelve they should take him, although it’s looking less likely that he will be. He’s proven himself in these workouts and would fit well into the system here. The BYU/Utah business is the past. It’s foolish to hold on to that and overlook pure talent. Not to mention the revenue he would generate for this small market team.

There was nothing more he could’ve done at BYU to prove he belongs. People more hyped than him have tanked. Jimmer is a classy guy. Nothing he has done should give anyone a reason to dislike him for playing at BYU. If he doesn’t pan out then he doesn’t pan out. But what if they pass him up and he blows up? I’d rather have taken the chance and have it be a mistake then sitting here five years from now watching him in the all-star game with another teams logo on his back.”

Trevor 2

“I think he is a great player and would help the Jazz out quite a bit around the perimeter. My biggest issue would be the fans with the whole Jimmermania. His senior year there were quite a few extreme BYU fans that took it too far. I just got really annoyed by it … I really hope he gets into a Jazz jersey as long as the BYU Jimmermania fans tone it down a bit.”

It sounds like the Ute fans are all for Jimmer sticking around town. They have much respect for his abilities and would love to see him help out in the ESA. He does have a good track record in that building. However, it seems they all agree that it was the BYU fans that made Fredette’s time at Brigham Young one they couldn’t wait to be over.

Next up … Jimmer’s own BYU fans. The first interviewee was Jake. Here’s what he had to say to my first question:

“It wouldn’t bother me to have Jimmer play for the Jazz, because it would make it very easy to watch him play live, and that would be a great bonus. As a BYU fan, you just want to see someone like Jimmer succeed no matter where he plays. I think he will be a great fit for most organizations. His immediate effect depends on where he goes obviously, but I see him as a main contributor to his team regardless where he is playing. Everyone doubts his defensive ability, but like he has always done, he proves his doubters wrong. He thrives on that.”

The next Cougar fan I asked was Eric.

“I think it would be a lot of fun if the Jazz drafted Jimmer.  I think it would be something to get Jazz fans excited again after a crappy season,  and unless he is a complete flop (he won’t be), Jimmer will put butts in seats at the ESA.  The only thing that would bother me is having BYU haters whining about it.”

Q: Do you think that if he does become a successful NBA player with the Jazz that it would irritate the said “BYU Haters”?

“I think that there will be people hoping he fails just because he attended BYU—so yes, it will drive them crazy if he is successful in the NBA and especially if he is successful in a Jazz uniform.”

Q: If he doesn’t have a success with the Jazz do you think it would trigger more animosity from his anti-BYU critics, or would it be just like any other NBA player?

“I’m not sure…I kind of think that there are people who will enjoy seeing him fail so much that it won’t bother them that it hurts the Jazz.  There will be a lot of “see I told you so”.  It really is sad because these are folks who would absolutely love the Jimmer if he would have gone to school anyplace other than BYU.”

And lastly, there were a few Aggie fans who chimed in though they didn’t seem as accepting as the Ute fans. Riley was short and to the point:

“I think he gets way too much hype from the locals here.  I would be fine if he was in a Jazz uniform, but I don’t think he is a top 10 pick.  If they get him at 12 I would be fine with that.”

Josh didn’t have much to say on the topic, but he’s not opposed:

“…Honestly it doesn’t bother me. …I just think the Jazz should take the best player available. All biased aside, they just need to do what’s best for the franchise.”

Casey was the last person I asked. He’s a big time Aggie fan and recognizes why the Jazz would need a guy like Jimmer, but he also has his own reservations on that thought:

“As an avid Aggie fan, here is my .02 cents about the Jazz drafting James Fredette: I would be OK if the Jazz drafted Jim with the #12 pick of the draft. Excited? No. Mad? No. But Okay with it.

I love watching basketball, especially the Aggies and the Jazz. I just watched one of the most frustrating Jazz seasons in a long time. Not because of the “Trade” or because of the changing of the guards. It was frustrating to watch the Jazz miss so many wide open threes. Korver was deadly with the spot up 3 the previous year, reflected by his shooting percentage. I was nervous when they didn’t bring him back. In his place we get the Veteran Bell. Many thought (hoped) it would be the reemergence of the pre-Phoenix Bell. That didn’t happen. Miles was streaky. Unfortunately, I didn’t think he would come through in crunch time. There was a very large void in the rotation which Fredette could actually come in and contribute. I would view this addition as something similar to Jason Terry’s role for Dallas or Korver for the Bulls. I think he needs to have the lasso snugged up a bit, because I do NOT want him taking that many shots or playing that many minutes. I watched BYU play their final game of the tournament and thought he single handedly kept them in the game, and then shot them out of the game.

Would I ever buy his Jersey? Ha ha, HELL NO. But I would be cheering for him to help the Jazz succeed.”

Regardless of where our loyalties lie, it seems that all of us Utahns would be in favor of Fredette contributing that long range of his to the Utah Jazz team. It is something the Jazz lacked much of last season. When we lost Wesley Matthews and Kyle Korver to free agency, we didn’t replace the perimeter shooting they provided for us and it showed all season long. Based on what we’ve been hearing from Jimmer’s pre-draft workouts, that range hasn’t left him. That skill has stuck with him and as we’ve just seen in the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks, the ability to spread out the floor with three point shooting is a dangerous weapon for a team to possess. The possibilities seem limitless.

Until draft day.

About the author

JimmieChesh

Jimmie is the co-host of the J&J Podcast, a Documenter at DMBA, a single dad, and a singer/songwriter. His music can be found at his website www.jimmiechesh.com. Follow him on twitter @JimmieChesh. Follow the J&J Podcast on twitter @j_jpodcast.

  • Jake R.

    great article. Casey always cracks me up. Might as well jump on the Jimmer wagon now, you’ll regret it if you dont because lets face it, no one from USU will ever make an impact in the NBA.

  • Mike C.

    As a BYU fan I would be very happy to see Jimmer be drafted to the Jazz. And as a Jazz fan, I would be very happy to see Jimmer be drafted to the Jazz. Jimmer is an incredible player, but the NBA is a true test for college ball players mainly because in college it seems like you are trying to impress scouts more than anything. Jimmer is an all around amazing ball player, but his strenght is his shooting capability. No coach in the NCAA Basketball league had an answer defensively for Jimmer at the 3 point line. Mainly because he didn’t shoot at the 3 point line, he shot way beyond the 3 point line, and was still just as effective. The test is going to be if Jimmer can mesh well with the Jazz on the inside, and outside of the 3 point line. And that’s just it. WITH THE JAZZ, not by himself. It will be exciting to see him play, no matter where he goes, but obviously it would be even more exciting to see him play in good old Salt Lake City!! Great article Chesh. Keep up the good work brozen.

    • Dusstin

      You are crazy if you feel Ute fans are in favor of Jimmer to the Jazz. And it has nothing to do with Jimmer. He seems like a nice enough kid who can shoot. Ute fans are sick of Jimmermania. You can’t turn on the TV or open the sports page in Utah without the media slobbering over Jimmer. The prospect of that continuing if Jimmer goes to the Jazz is untenable. I haven’t talked to any fellow Ute fans who want him with the Jazz because of that. Please, please, anyone else take Jimmer.

      • JimmieChesh

        Did you not read the comments from the Ute fans? This article wasn’t “buttered” up. Those are actual quotes.

        They all seem to like the idea of his outside shooting on the team, they just wouldn’t enjoy the “Jimmermania” if it continued.

        I think what he CAN do for the franchise outweighs the annoyance from the BYU fans.

      • Jake R.

        correction, “ignorant Ute fans” aren’t in favor of jimmer. Just like ignorant BYU fans aren’t in favor of Eric Weddle or Andrew Bogut.
        Once they go pro, its what they do there, not necesarily What they’ve done in the past, or where they came from. Thats ignorance if thats you deciding factor. Its a really good thing for , well, the world, that there is such hype about Jimmer. Think of how much athletes influence people. Jimmer is a great role model. If LeBron, Kobe, and Durrant had half his class and humility Im sure the world would actually be a better place.

      • It’s annoying Jimmer/BYU fans like you (Jake R.) who make BYU fans sound blinded and ignorant. Good thing JimmieChesh and the other BYU fans aren’t annoying or I might have to remove them from being writers 😉

  • Bryan Bruin

    I want to see the Jazz draft Jimmer just so I can see all the Utes and Aggies in a Jimmer jersey! Yes Casey that means you! I will make sure each member of your family gets a Jimmer jersey!

  • I don’t want the Jazz to draft Jimmer only because the hype about him is annoying. I have full confidence in the Jazz brass and who they decide to draft. They usually to a darn good job. I think it’d be awesome if Jimmer was drafted higher than 12. He definitely deserves that, but I’d just really like the worshipping of Jimmer to SLOW down. It’s getting to the point of worshipping an idol…scary business

    • JimmieChesh

      Very Michelle Peralta-esque there. 😉

      • Jake R.

        Bad news mrsjbagby, Jimmermania is just begining. Its not worship, its praising someone who is a good role model, and one hell of a basketball player. If your sick of hearing about JImmer you better just get rid of your tv and computer because its just begining..

  • Matt

    I’ve heard the “it’s annoying” for the reason not to draft Jimmer a lot lately. Once I read that as your excuse, I realize how glad I am that people like that aren’t running any major sports organization.

    Decision dictated by your hatred of that one BYU neighbor or the dude you work with is just so sad. I’m a Ute grad with an all-WAC BYU father who ended up going pro. I cheer for both the hill and happy valley, and I’m even a bigger Jazz fan. At #12, if you choose to say no to Jimmer simply because you hate BYU fans and not because there’s something real in his game you don’t like, then you sir are sure wasting your opinion and time.

    • Hey, I’m a girl and I can say it’s annoying. I don’t get you men and your sports and sports heros. I try, but honestly I don’t get it.

  • I’m fairly new to this area, so experienced fans…What was the hype like when Andrew Bogut was in college then drafted #1? What was it like leading up to that? Then onto football, what was the hype like before Alex Smith was drafted #1? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m not from up here. Was it anything like this Jimmermania?

  • Jake R.

    The bucks needed a center and Bogut was the best available, thats why he went #1, and he has turned out to be a pretty good pick up. Neither him or Smith dominated like Jimmer did. The Hype of Jimmer is Nationwide, people seem to think its “crazy BYU fan wide” but its Nation wide, because the kid is a star, ver special basketball player. Neither Smith or Bogut were really “special” Alex Smith going #1 has always been one of the saddest jokes ever. If you go off of what he accomplished, Bryan Johnson did more impressive things.. hahahaha

  • Grant

    I am a Ute fan. I personally don’t care if the Jazz draft Jimmer or not. I do not think the Jimmermania will continue after he is drafted. This is because there is going to be a lockout and he won’t be able to play until 2012. So, Jimmermania is about to end until Jimmer has the chance to prove himself NBA star or a role player. If he only proves to be a role player, there will never be Jimmermania again.

    • Jake R.

      thats good wishful thinking