- By Jason Dougas Lewis
- In On the Soapbox
BYU’s Jimmer Fredette has been compared to white basketball players instead of the top scorers in the NBA.
BYU’s Jimmer Fredette has been compared to top white players, but not black players. (AP Photo)
Article originally published by the Los Angeles Sentinel. www.lasentinel.net
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor (2010-2013)
BYU guard Jimmer Fredette has been the talk of college basketball for the bulk of the season. The guy was simply amazing. He launches 30 foot three point shots and hits nothing but the bottom of the net. He drives to the basket at will and has no trouble getting around defenders.
Fredette, on the college level, can do it all, but when he is projected to the pro level, he is falling way short, and he is mainly compared to other white basketball players, which has annoyed many white fans.
Fredette has been compared to the likes of Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick, both white prolific college scores who have not been the star players in the NBA that they were in college.
Fredette’s lack of defense has been compared to Morrison and Redick. Morrison has been unable to get any playing time because he is so poor on that end of the court, while Redick has become a serviceable player defensively, which has kept him around.
Fredette has not been compared to black players such as Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, or Russell Westbrook, who can score at will in the NBA.
Well, Jimmer and white fans are not going to find much compassion from black fans, because black players have always had to deal with that.
Every black quarterback who is mobile is compared to Michael Vick or Vince Young. Auburn’s Cam Newton is the latest black quarterback to be compared to one of those two players.
People need to realize that there is no quarterback, regardless of race, ever to play in the NFL that compares to Vick. He is one of a kind when it comes to that position.
Newton is somewhat similar to Young, but he is also comparable to Ben Roethlisberger, a white quarterback. But the Newton/Roethlisberger comparison is not made very often.
There does not seem to be much of an issue when black mobile quarterbacks are not compared to white quarterbacks such as John Elway or Steve Young, but people will roll their eyes whenever a white wide receiver is compared to Ed McCaffrey.
Another white athlete who has taken some flack because he of his race is Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis, who was the first white running back in over 25 years to rush for over 1,000 in a season.
Hillis said that opposing defenses, which were fielded mostly by black players, called him “white boy” on a weekly basis. That did not make white fans too happy, and some of them claimed racism.
It is unfortunate that Hillis was called that, but lets not act like black athletes did not have to endure that type of treatment for decades. And black soccer players in European leagues still hear monkey chants and fans throw bananas at them while they are playing.
Sure, it is unfair that Fredette and Hillis have had to deal with racial issues, but white fans should not act as if this is some travesty of justice when black athletes have had to deal with racial issues since the inception of modern day American sports.
Before the racial barriers were broken during the Civil Rights era, blacks were unable to play in certain leagues because of the racial issues. Hillis has had every opportunity to become a starting running back in the NFL, and he has made the most of it.
As for Fredette, he’s projected to be drafted as a lottery pick, most likely in the teens. He is more of a Stephen Curry type than a Morrison or Redick type.
Curry, like Fredette, is a scorer who has little interest in playing any defense. The Golden State Warriors try to hide Curry’s defensive inabilities, but if he were not averaging 18.2 points per game on 47 percent shooting, he would find himself buried on the bench, just like Morrison.
That may be Fredette’s downfall. He’s not going to be much of a defensive threat, so the only way that he will be able to stay on the court is if he can score like he has done in college. But in the NBA, opposing guards are not going to let him embarrass them like he did Mountain West Conference defenders. Like Morrison and Redick, Fredette may find out how much harder it is to score in the NBA.