With the NBA's nuclear winter now averted, people are starting to get excited again for everything they thought they would see in late October and early November. There are so many good story lines to follow this year but, because of the long layoff, some of them seem to have fallen through the cracks.
One of the most compelling stories that hasn't received a lot of love since the end of the lockout is the entrance of college superstar Jimmer Fredette into the NBA ranks. After achieving Tebow-like popularity during his senior season at Brigham Young University, not much has been heard over the past few months.
One question that everybody will be looking to have answered is, can Jimmer live up to the hype?
The answer is no. He is a basketball player, and after being made into something more than that by so many well meaning but overexuberant fans, the reality will soon sink in that he is still a mere mortal, albeit one who is very good at the game of basketball.
The competition will be tougher, the defenders will be bigger, the games will be longer and the schedule will be much more grueling (although the lockout-shortened season could, in this sense, prove to be a boon to incoming rookies). All of this will be a big adjustment for the Jimmer, but I'm not down on him or ready to doubt his will to succeed.
I think he'll do great.
He has a place in the NBA. He may never be an All-Star point guard, but he's a dynamic shooter. I'm with those who envision him as a potential sixth man of the year candidate in three or four years, especially if the Kings can find a way to start winning more games.
He's got quite the interesting cast of teammates, but the plus side is that even with ball hogs like DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans on either side, he should still have plenty of opportunities to build up his offensive stats.
There are so many questions to be answered. Will Jimmer play the point? Is he more of a Ben Gordon type? Can he play at NBA speed, or will the speed of the NBA game be too much for his style of play? Can he prove all the doubters wrong, once and for all, by surprising everyone and winning Rookie of the Year award?
Only time will tell with this story, but even the mere telling of it is good enough for me.