Jimmer Fredette the Tim Tebow of the NBA

Jimmer FredetteNo matter how one looks at Jimmer Fredette of the Sacramento Kings and Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos there is a blaring similarity between the two. Both players bring something different to the table for their sport and have their criticism’s along the way toward success. Many may think the similarity starts with religion because of Tebow’s beliefs and Fredette attending Brigham Young University, but that is not the case.

Jimmer Fredette was a polarizing figure in college sports for BYU and played all four years for the Cougars, leading them to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He was named the 2011 National Player of the year by many sporting outlets and broke a number of records along the way. His name “Jimmer” started a viral trend of “Teach me how to Jimmer” which led to support for the campaign to name him the MVP. Even opponents on whom he scored large amounts of points were considered “Jimmered.”

Tim Tebow was also a polarizing figure at the University of Florida and Urban Meyer. Playing for the Gators all four years it wasn’t until his second year that he started but the hype had already begun as he was named by¬† Sporting News to be one of college football’s “Breakout Players of 2007.” In 2007 Tebow would win the Heisman Trophy as he finished the regular season as the only player in FBS history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in both categories in the same season. In 2008 his team won the National Championship¬† and Tebow decided to play his final collegiate year. At the end of his college career, Tebow held 5 NCAA, 14 Southeastern Conference, and 28 University of Florida statistical records.

Fast forward to the NFL and as a first round selection by the Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow is now the starting quarterback and has led the Broncos to many unbelievable comebacks, wins and a shot at the 2011 NFL Playoffs. His name has been translated into many different versions including “Tebowing” and “Tebow-Time.”

Both players have seen success in their careers so far, but they have also seen their share of haters. Many said Jimmer wasn’t worthy of a Player of the Year award and questioned his potential in the NBA.

SI stated “Jimmer Fredette is not the best player in this NBA draft, or the tallest, or the quickest, or the fastest, or the shortest. But he is the most controversial.

Sound familiar?

The same can be said for Tim Tebow as almost everyone knocked the Broncos for taking Tebow in the first round. He became the most celebrated fourth-string rookie quarterback in NFL history. Even during his eventual success at the NFL level it is still said his arm strength, accuracy and decision-making do not make him a starting quarterback in the NFL. Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears called him an excellent runningback.

No matter what is said both continue to succeed not only on the court and on the field but in popularity.

Tebow set an NFL Draft record for jersey sales. He also had the best-selling jersey in the entire NFL each month since being drafted. The Broncos, as a whole, led the NFL among all teams in jersey sales in 2010 and 2011.

As for Fredette, Kings merchandise sales, according to CNBC, is up 540 percent from December of last year. Three-quarters of the increase is due to the presence of Fredette. He currently leads the team in jersey sales and stores in the Sacramento area are often sold out of No. 7 jerseys.

The first two home games of the season sold out and merchandise sales are through the roof something both the Kings and Broncos needed.