Following one of the better NBA D-League All-Star Games of all-time in which the Eastern Conference just narrowly edged out the Western Conference by a score of 128-124, Westchester Knicks guard Jimmer Fredette was able to take home the All-Star Game MVP trophy.
It was a phenomenal all-around effort from Fredette that was very reminiscent of his college days at BYU. His 35 points led all scorers and broke the D-League All-Star Game record, and he added six rebounds and eight assists to go along with it in just 25 minutes.
It was a great effort from Fredette and one that may bring history onto his side as the D-League moves towards the playoffs. With his being named MVP, it draws some similarities to one of the biggest moments in wrestling history.
For non-wrestling fans, Brock Lesnar, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, took on The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30 and entered with the odds stacked against him. The Undertaker had a 21-0 record in his career at WrestleMania, but Lesnar managed to defeat him.
As Fredette was named MVP, he entered himself into an elite class of players that has it's own history that is beginning to grow rather lengthy. Since the D-League switched over to their current format of eight teams making the playoffs, the team of the player who won the All-Star Game MVP award has never lost in the first round (excluding Brian Butch in the 2009-2010 season, where the Bakersfield Jam missed the playoffs entirely).
Throughout this span, the All-Star Game MVP's team has lost just two games in the first round. As it currently stands, Fredette and the Knicks find themselves tied for first place in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division with an overall record of 18-14, which would set them up for a first-round matchup with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the best team in the NBA D-League.
To get to that point of a showdown with the Skyforce, however, the Knicks are going to have to finish the season strong. They're currently in a horse race atop the Atlantic Division with the Maine Red Claws and Delaware 87ers all within a half-game of each other and with 18 games to go for the Knicks, anything can happen from here on out.
Looking forward, their schedule seems to spurn a sense of optimism. Throughout their remaining 18 games (nine of which will be played at home), they will face teams with a combined winning percentage of .480. They will have the chance to capitalize by playing Raptors 905 (12-20) three times and the Erie BayHawks (11-20) twice in those remaining games. With that schedule and Fredette rolling into the post-All-Star break hot, the Knicks are looking to have a strong chance of making the playoffs, even if it would lead to a series with Sioux Falls.
It remains to be seen whether the Skyforce can play the Brock Lesnar to Fredette's Undertaker, but with the powerhouse that they've been thus far they appear to be the type of team that can break the All-Star Game MVP streak.