It’s official: Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette cleared waivers on Saturday, March 1, signed with the Chicago Bulls and even played three minutes -- scoring on a pull up jumper in the Bulls 109-90 win over New York on Sunday, March 2.
Prior to the Bulls’ game Sunday afternoon against the Knicks, a sight many in Chicago haven’t seen since Michael Jordan suited up was taking place.
Dozens of media and cameras filled the Bulls’ locker room in the United Center-- just to get a glimpse of or to talk to the one-named white kid from Glens Falls, N.Y. they call Jimmer.
For a guy who is reportedly receiving a half-year, prorated salary, this might be a lot of hubbub for somebody who is wearing the opposite of Air Jordan’s number -- or 32 -- and who has scored about seven points per game in the NBA.
Hopefully for Jimmer, his time in Chicago will go better than the last No. 32 in a Bulls uniform -- Richard Hamilton.
But most aren’t Jimmer, a player who is well liked throughout the league -- and who was an icon, a legend at BYU. If most of the NBA seems to be rooting for him, it’s because they are.
Many believe Fredette wasn’t given a fair shake in Sacramento, a poorly managed franchise that was in the midst of an ownership change when he arrived.
Now that Jimmer is on a winning, playoff-bound team in Chicago, his old BYU coach Dave Rose, for example, has been quick to point out this could be good for Fredette.
“If that happens, I know he’ll be really happy,” Rose said in an interview with the Deseret News on Sat. March 1. “It’s what he wants. He’s really excited about that opportunity. I think all Jimmer fans everywhere are happy that he’s (playing somewhere else).”
Bulls general manager Gar Forman also had nice things to say about the former consensus college player of the year.
“We are very excited to add a player like Jimmer to our roster,” Forman said in a statement. “We’ve followed him closely throughout his collegiate and professional career, and believe he’ll be the type of player that will fit in with our group and be an asset to the team.”
Jimmer scored two points on one-of-two shooting and had two rebounds in his first action Sunday with the Bulls. He didn’t play in the first half as Chicago enjoyed a 59-48 lead over New York and cruised to an easy victory.