It was two weeks ago that the Knicks fanbase was all aflutter about the D-League call-up of Jimmer Fredette. Jimmer Mania was going to be the next Linsanity. Forget that he had failed with four teams. He had been reborn in Westchester! It would start with an initial 10-day contract.
Egged on by the Knicks tabloid beat writers, fans saw Fredette, a native of upstate Glen Falls, as the perfect guy to turnaround a season turning more miserable by the minute. Jimmer Mania went on for DAYS. First, there were the reports the Knicks were interested, then word it was going to happen. Carmelo Anthony didn't know he was being signed?! Melo was out of it. Finally, he was called up and. signed. All was well in New York.
Then, it happened. Fredette failed. In five games over 10 days, he played a grand total of five minutes. There were three DNP-CD's and two short appearances in blowout losses to the Raptors and Trailblazers. Fans chanted his name, but Kurt Rambis hinted he wasn't going to make it, saying he had gotten roughed up in practices. After his 10-day was up, he was gone. Bobby Marks hinted at another Knicks front office failure.
The one thing that drives ownership and management nuts is when you sign a player to a 10-day and he is glued to the bench.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 29, 2016
Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, out of the glare of local media (who don't cover the Nets much nowadays), the other locals called up Sean Kilpatrick, the D-League's leading scorer and top prospect. No chanting fans, not supposed "cult following." Like Fredette, he's 26, a native New Yorker (Yonkers). Unlike him, Kilpatrick is productive.
In three games, he's scored 20 points in 41 minutes and has shot 44.4 percent from deep, Jimmer's supposed strong suit. His minutes weren't in blowout losses, but close games. He also played some defense. As Mike Fratello said Friday, he's a good shot to stay the season, play in the summer league, etc.
Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm (and of all people!) saw it coming, tweeting this the day the Fredette news broke...
Take how you feel about Jimmer Fredette and invest it in Sean Kilpatrick. Like Jimmer, but good.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) February 19, 2016
Neither Fredette's failure nor Kilpatrick's success is likely to mean much for either team. The Knicks have Kristaps Porzingis, the Nets don't have draft picks. Still, the comparison is telling. False hope vs. low-key productivity. We'll take the latter.