Last night while channel surfing, I came across a basketball games. I was intrigued because the NBA is in the dead period, college basketball is a ways away from tipping off, summer league is over and the G League doesn't start for a bit. At first glance I thought it may have been the Big 3, but, unfortunately there were 10 guys on the court. I was confused what I stumbled across, but it was basketball, so I decided to watch for a bit.
What I saw was some very poorly played basketball. Now, these guys are much, much better than I will ever be at basketball, but what I watched last night wasn't even the equivalent to minor league baseball, the CFL, the arena league or the G League. Hell, I'd even take mid major college basketball over what I saw last night. After about 5 minutes of watching, the abbreviation "TBT" kept showing up. I didn't know what this stood for, but I then remembered seeing something similar to this last year while doing late night channel surfing last summer around the same time. I remembered that "TBT" stood for "The Basketball Tournament".
The "TBT", I know that's redundant, is a tournament style basketball competition where the winner gets 2 million dollars. Now, that is 2 million dollars to spread out among the entire team. That's not a lot when you think about it. I then started to recognize some of the guys playing in the game last night. I didn't remember many of the names, but I remembered seeing them in summer league, on NBA teams as of a few years back, playing in college basketball. They looked familiar to me. I then heard an announcer say, "and James Michael McAdoo with the bucket." I knew that name. He was on the Warriors a few years back, the first year they won their title. I then heard about some of the other teams that had already been eliminated, and names became recognizable again. I heard names like Jared Sullinger and Greg Oden, oh how the "mighty" have fallen. Other names like Brandon Triche, Hakim Warrick, Andrew Dakich, Mark Donnal, Stu Douglass and Jon Horford all ran familiar to me. Some of these guys I knew from college, namely all the former Michigan players, (Dakich, Donnal, Douglass and Horford). I also recognized Brandon Triche from his solid college career at Syracuse. Same for Hakim Warrick, but he did have a cup of coffee in the NBA.
The one former big name that kept showing up, especially last night since the team was named after him and his family, was Jimmer Fredette. You all remember him, right? He was the former college player of the year. He was a lottery pick. He was supposed to be the next great three point shooter in the league. He was going to be, one of many that have not made it, the Sacramento Kings savior. But, last I heard about Jimmer Fredette was, he was playing in China. Sure, a year or so back he was in the G League, and got called up to play for the Knicks for a minute, but that was it. Then, as I said, he signed on for a team in China. By all accounts, the few stories that are leaked here and there, he is lighting that league up. I've heard that he goes for 60 plus points regularly. I've heard that some teams G League affiliates have their eyes on him now. So, I stayed tuned in after the first 5 minutes because I thought maybe this time, the "TBT" would be better.
Sadly, it was not.
Team Fredette, led by Jimmer, was basically a clear out for Jimmer, so he could shine. Every time down the court, he brought the ball up, and 99 percent of the time, he took the shot. I had heard that he was putting up 40 fairly regularly in this tournament, but when you shoot 30 plus times a game, you should be scoring that much. His defense, or lack there of, was also horrendous. They were hiding him, in the "TBT", and he was still atrocious. And the team they played, I cannot remember for the life of me their name and I just watched the game less than 24 hours ago, defeated his team handily. They actually played defense and used team work and made easy shots. They didn't look good doing it, but they did earn themselves a chance at the 2 million dollar prize money.
Look, this was a bad basketball game that I watched. I did choose it over preseason football, because who in their right minds want to watch Baltimore and Chicago in the first preseason game on August 3rd? Not even the presence of Lamar Jackson was enough to pull me away fro a crummy basketball game. But, that needs to be said. Yes, I chose to watch this game because I love basketball, but it was awful. And for those that are saying this is Jimmer Fredette's comeback story, the way he performed in the "TBT", stop it. Fredette's days as an NBA player are done. He couldn't get separation from dudes that have been out of the league, or were never in it in the first place, at all last night. His jumper isn't nearly as good as it used to be either. As for defense, he still stinks, like I said earlier.
Sure, it was a cute little story, but TBT proves that Fredette is washed. I'd rather have guys like Nate Robinson, Zak Irvin or any guy currently on a G League roster. Fredette is trash, and so is the "TBT". But, I will probably watch the final because I am a junky. But man oh man is it some sub par basketball.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet.
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