NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette said Wednesday that people have been telling him his whole life he’s not a good defensive player. But the Glens Falls, N.Y. native thinks he’s on his way to proving them wrong as he works out for a series of NBA teams — including the Knicks.
The 6-foot-2 point guard, who averaged 28.9 points per game last season and was named The Associated Press player of the year, had his first workout on Tuesday with the Indiana Pacers. He plans another with the Knicks on Thursday and future workouts at Sacramento, Utah and Phoenix.
“Obviously, being from New York and liking the Knicks growing up, we’ll see,” Fredette said, according to the New York Post.
“I think they know I can play offense at the level of an NBA-caliber player. The biggest thing they are concerned about is the defensive end and being able to defend NBA point guards,” he said. “My goal is to show that I can. I think I did a good job of that (Tuesday). I think I’ll do a good job of that the rest of the time.”
The Knicks have the 17th overall pick in this month’s draft.
Fredette was speaking to reporters on a teleconference call to promote the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, which he is scheduled to play in July 15-17 at Lake Tahoe. He said the knock on his defensive play is nothing new.
“I think everyone has a criticism of someone for something. That is just my criticism I have gotten for my entire life, basically. I am used to it. I realize I have to continue to work on defense. I think a lot of people have to work on defense. It’s a tough thing — not being able to hand check and everything,” he said.
Fredette, who led BYU to the NCAA tournament round of 16 for the first time in 30 years this season, said he thinks there is a good chance the NBA will lock out its players next season but that is not affecting his preparation for this month’s draft.
“They think there is going to be a lockout. That is what a lot of people are saying and they really believe that is going to happen this year,” Fredette said. “No one knows how long it is going to take to resolve it. …. As of right now, I’m not doing anything different because the draft process is the same so far.”
Should the Knicks pick Fredette if he’s available at No. 17? Sound off in the comments below…
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