In case you were unaware, Jimmer-mania has officially returned.
Former college basketball superstar Jimmer Fredette dropped 73 points in a thrilling double overtime game over the weekend which his team somehow still managed to lose, 135-132.
But it’ll be hard to pin that loss on Jimmer. The former 10th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft put up his points on an efficient 25-of-49 shooting, including 10-of-18 from behind the three-point line while also going a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw stripe. He played 54 minutes, also notching four rebounds, three assists, three steals and six turnovers.
At the end of regulation, he hit a pair of free throws to put the game into overtime, and then willed in an insane leaner with his toe just barely behind the three-point line with just 0.2 seconds left on the clock to take the game into double overtime where the Shanghai Sharks eventually lost to the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions.
Fredette’s point total is the fourth highest in CBA history. Professional journeyman Errick McCollum has the record with 82 points — in a game that his team also lost.
The explosion puts Jimmer up to 38.2 points per game this season, vaulting him just ahead of McCollum as the league’s leading scorer. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Sharks are humming right along with the third best record at 30-8.
It’s been a season of redemption of sorts for Fredette. He was once one of the biggest college stars imaginable, averaging 28.9 points per game in his senior season for an underdog BYU team. However, Jimmer’s legendary shooting was comprimised by his lack of athleticism in the NBA. He played 5 years for 4 different teams, averaging 6 points and 13 minutes per game over his brief career.
Last August, Fredette was signed by Shanghai to turn around a team that had narrowly missed the playoffs the two previous years. Chinese defenders’ comparative lack of length and athleticism have served Jimmer well and he has managed to recapture that BYU magic, earning legions of Chinese fans who call him “Jimo” (寂寞) meaning “lonely.”
Which is less depressing than it sounds, as his translator told him, his full title is “loneliness god,” (寂寞大神) because he stands at such a high level, he has no rivals.
Watch Jimo go off for 73 points below:
After the CBA season is over, will Jimmer’s success translate into a new NBA contract? It looks like the Kings are searching for a new superstar.
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