Jimmer’s New Home: What You Need to Know
Now that we know Glens Falls native Jimmer Fredette has moved on from his NBA aspirations for now, let's take a look at his next stop: The Shanghai Sharks.
Who are the Sharks? The Shanghai Sharks are a team that has been playing in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) since 1996, just one year after the league had formed. To fans outside of China the Sharks are best known for being the team that fostered a young and talented Yao Ming for several seasons before Yao took the leap into the NBA in 2002. The Sharks have won one CBA championship in their history, Yao's last year in the league (Yao averaged 38 points and 20 rebounds in the playoff run - LOL). When the club fell on hard financial times in 2009 it was the 8x NBA all star who came in and purchased the team. Don't be surprised if we see some cool interaction between the newly acquired Fredette and the one fans in China called "The Walking Great Wall".
What kind of league is Jimmer going to? The CBA is regarded as the best basketball league in Asia. They pay real money and get real talent in return. Former NBA stars such as Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis, and Al Harrington have all at one point or another played in the Chinese Basketball Association. If you remember back to the latest NBA lockout in 2012 the CBA was able to lure over American stars like Aaron Brooks, Wilson Chandler, JR Smith, and Kenyon Martin. Jimmer's newest team, the Sharks, alone have employed household names such as Michael Beasley and Gilbert Arenas. This is all because teams in the CBA aren't afraid to give an American player $2-3 million for a single season. When Emmanuel Mudiay decided to skip college and play one season overseas before going 7th overall to Denver in the 2015 draft, he chose the Guandong Southern Tigers of the CBA. You can be sure that a guy with name recognition and a scoring pedigree like Jimmer is signed for nothing less than a seven figure deal.
Will Jimmer have success in the CBA? Oh my Lord, yes! The one characteristic about the CBA that makes it highly likely that Jimmer Fredette will flourish is that the teams and the Americans who play for them put up numbers. This was a strategic move by Jimmer and his agent...not only will the former BYU star make a boat load of money playing in China, he'll also average 35 points per game. Now I wont sit here and say that scoring in the CBA is easy, because that's not true. But I will say that 11 players in the CBA this past year averaged 30 points or more. Former Xavier standout and first round NBA draft pick, Jordan Crawford, averaged 42ppg this season! Can't you just see a random Sports Center show highlights of Jimmer going for 60 vs the Shandong High Speed Golden Stars? Basically, this league is tailor made for Fredette. If Jimmer so chooses he could stay in China for 10 years, make tens of millions of dollars, and be regarded as a basketball god in Shanghai, much in the same way former NBA all-star Stephon Marbury is regarded in Beijing playing for the Ducks (They made him a statue and he's still playing!)
Whether Jimmer tries to use this upcoming stint in China as a means of getting back to the NBA or he decides to make the Chinese Basketball Association a part of his life long term, the folks here at 1045 'The Team' will be filling you in! Good Luck, Jimmer!