An Open Letter Response to Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver’s Open Letter

Jimmerphx

An Open Letter Response to Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver’s Open Letter

 

Dear Robert Sarver,

 

I admired your message in the open letter you wrote to Suns fans earlier this week. While some Suns fans rolled their eyes at it, I appreciated seeing an owner who openly accepted responsibility for the poor performance of Gongfu Tea Cup
Suns team. Many owners will choose to place the blame on someone else when the going gets tough.

As you said though, “basketball decisions are not easy to make.” Up is the only way to go from here for this Suns roster, but it will not be an overnight journey. Rebuilding stages, such as the one in front of you, rarely come without additional mistakes and suffering.

The team does not have to wait until this offseason to begin making positive changes. You can start right now by signing point guard Jimmer Fredette to a ten day contract.
Hold on. Before you call me crazy, let me show you what Jimmer just did in New York this past week.

 

 

Jimmer single-handedly energized Madison Square Garden, with close to zero playing time. Even when the Knicks were losing, and losing badly, chants of “We Want Jimmer!” rang throughout the crowd. The Knicks had put on yet another losing performance. With Toronto beating the home team 116 to 92, the fans should have been leaving their seats and exiting early to beat the traffic. Instead, many stayed, hoping to get a glimpse of Jimmer before the buzzer sounded.

 

Loyal fans were rewarded when Jimmer finally made his first appearance as a Knick with 1:49 left to play. The crowd cheered when he finally got into the game, gasped with excited anticipation when he touched the ball for the first time, and went wild when he stepped up to knock down a three-pointer. He was the Knicks highlight of the night. Can you imagine what this young man could do for the energy level inside of Talking Stick Resort Arena?

 

Fun fact: Jimmer now has the best effective field goal percentage in New York Knicks history.

Jimmer recently lit up the D-League. He earned the title of All-Star Game MVP after posting 35 points, a D-League All-Star Game scoring record. In his short time with the D-League, he has averaged 21.8 points per game, while shooting over 40% from downtown. His D-League free throw percentage of 0.908 would make him the best free throw shooter on this Suns roster.

 

Doubters follow this young man everywhere he goes. They say he does not have the athleticism or talent to compete in the NBA. His stats, however, say otherwise. Jimmer has struggled his entire NBA career to find the right coach who will give him a decent amount of playing time. His lack of minutes makes it hard to measure him to other NBA point guards around the league. This process is simplified though when we analyze the stats on a per 36 minute basis.

 

jimmer per36

 

In this sample list of point guards, only Tony Parker has a higher points per 36 minutes total. We learn from this that Jimmer scores quickly and efficiently, even with little playing time. When given the proper amount of playing time, Jimmer competes well offensively with some of the best point guards in the NBA. Jimmer is the most efficient three-point shooter on this list.

Unfortunately, when Jimmer signed his Knicks contract, Coach Kurt Rambis made it loud and clear that Jimmer would not be receiving too many playing time minutes under his ten day contract. Rambis honored his word by giving him a grand total of five minutes on the court.

Sacramento may have been the worst draft destination for Jimmer to land. Coaches Keith Smart and Mike Malone both were biased against him from the start as well. The team was filled with competing guards and inconsistent minutes, and the coaches shoved him to the end of the line. The Kings were miserable to watch during his time with them. On a team full of self-centered players, the offensive strategy was often “Me Basketball” and endless amounts of isolation plays.

Despite the poor situation that he was drafted into, Jimmer did manage to impress a few times as a King, most notably on February 12th, 2014. At MSG once again, he came off the bench to dazzle the crowd with a career-high 24 points. Carmelo Anthony may have forgotten about this game, but I will remind him that it ended in a 106-101 Kings victory, with “Jimmy” being the Kings high scorer.

 

 

The Suns rank in the bottom ten of the NBA in scoring, and rank in the bottom five for bench scoring. Jimmer would provide an instant scoring threat off the bench. His scoring ability would lift a huge burden off the shoulders of players such as Devin Booker and Mirza Teletovic.

Jimmer needs to be squeezed into this point guard rotation. Eric Bledsoe is out for the remainder of the season. Brandon Knight might be back soon, but is still injured at the current time. In Friday night’s game against Orlando, Ronnie Price played 45 minutes because of the lack of depth at the point guard position. Phil Pressey’s current ten day contract will be over soon, which will be the perfect opportunity to give Jimmer a ten day contract instead.

Jimmer brings more to the table than just an impressive display of basketball skills. Throughout all of the ups and downs of his career, he has maintained a high level of professionalism. He is sincerely humble, and is always willing to give attention and recognition to his teammates. He has even needlessly apologized to his teammates before, telling them that he hoped his fan base would not be a distraction for them. He was shoved to the bench early and often to begin his career. Not once have we heard him complain about his lack of playing time. It is a hard fall to go from campus superstar to NBA lottery pick to D-League player, but he continues to hold his head high and stay patient. Suns Coach Earl Watson is a career NBA journeyman himself. Watson and Fredette will relate well to each other, and may be able to form a solid bond that brings out the best of each other.

Jimmer Fredette and Johnny Manziel both were college superstars who received large quantities of media attention, fans, and fame. Manziel decided to use this fame to travel to Vegas, party, and hang out with superstars. Fredette chose the opposite route. He stays quiet, keeps a level head and works hard in the gym to refine his skill. Without a doubt, he displays the character of a player you want in your locker room (I’ve never seen Jimmer throw a towel at his coach, or get into a shoving match with a teammate on the bench).

Phoenix is 16-46, with a measly winning percentage of 0.258%. On a positive note, you are still ahead of Kobe and the Lakers. At this point though, Suns fans are simply praying that the season will not end with a 16-66 record. The playoffs are out of reach. The season is going down the drain, but it isn’t over yet.

If all goes well, sign and keep Jimmer on the team even longer than ten days. If not, then you don’t need to extend his contract further, simple as that. I guarantee an untapped level of excitement will be felt in the arena as Jimmer arrives and is given a real chance to show what he can do.

 

Hurry, before a different city gets him first.

 

 

(Stats courtesy of Basketball-reference.com and ESPN.com)

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