TORONTO — “Every single night I try to go out there and play the best that I can,” Jimmer Fredette said Saturday afternoon at the Ricoh Coliseum. “Not necessarily [for] validation, but just to show people, you know, I can play still.”
Fredette certainly did that in the NBA D-League All-Star Game, as the Westchester Knicks guard dropped a cool 35 points, setting a new scoring record for the game and winning the MVP Award as he lead the East to victory.
It was a dominant performance, as Fredette poured in buckets from all over the floor, shooting 13-of-19 from the field, including 6-of-12 from behind the arc. All day, the former BYU standout showed off that scoring prowess that made him a media darling in college and a top-10 pick back in 2011.
Fredette, of course, has not yet been able to translate that success to the NBA. He’s bounced around the league for the past few years, but despite still possessing a potent jumper, hasn’t been able to stick. But instead of packing up and bolting for a contract overseas, Fredette went to the NBA D-League in order to show teams he deserves a spot in the league.
It’s a sign of how strong the NBA’s minor league is becoming, and Fredette made that clear after the game.
“It’s a great league; there’s a lot of really good talent,” he said. “Every single night you’re playing against one, two, three guys that have played in the NBA for years. It’s exciting to be able to go out and compete every night and show what you can do.”
Still, Fredette does not want to stay forever. Like everyone else in Saturday’s All-Star Game, he wants another shot in the Association. And if he keeps playing like he did this afternoon, he might soon get his wish.