March 30, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Jimmer Fredette (7) watches from the bench during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Sacramento Kings' Jimmer Fredette - He's Ready To Smile Again

Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Roll back any tape of Jimmer Fredette before his NBA career began – you’ll notice a trend. A wide eyed, ear to ear grin from the former BYU Cougar. And then check out some tape from Fredette’s rookie season in the NBA and see what you find. Generally, a lot of irritation and confusion.

Jimmer Fredette is a weird player and I mean that in the kindest of ways. While most rookies come into the NBA with the weight of a small town or community on their shoulders, Jimmer did so with an entire state. Hell, some might say he did so with the weight of the entire basketball world. Jimmer was unique. Jimmer is unique. If it’s not one of thousands of local Utah businesses trying to get the former collegiate star to endorse their product/name, it was a Sacramento company trying to do the same. And if it wasn’t a corporation trying to get Fredette’s promotion, it was his agency setting up some type of activity that took Fredette away from the place he felt most comfortable – the court.

From excessively large basketball camp’s that Fredette struggled to even attend due to his insane travel schedule to autograph signings to media commitments after media commitments, there simply wasn’t enough time in the day. And this all taking place while Jimmer dealt with an NBA lockout, an early coaching change and sporadic playing time. Oh – and did I mention he was a rookie being asked to learn the NBA point guard position on the fly in a condensed NBA schedule that consisted of a game nearly every night. A player that, right or wrongly, was drafted more for his financial impact than actual game. That’s a lot to ask of anybody, let alone a 22 year old talent who was nothing short of a religious figure the past few years.

Am I trying to create an excuse for Fredette? Not in the least bit. Jimmer struggled for most of last season – sometimes heavily, but given the combination of factors, it’s not exactly difficult to see why. You wonder who could succeed in a situation like that, in all honesty.

But now, a year removed from his rookie season, Fredette is ready. Ready to return to Sacramento. Ready to calm things down around him. Ready to get back to the place that breeds comfortability. Ready to smile again.

“One thing I’ve always had was my life outside basketball. I didn’t quite have that last year,” Fredette said. “But I’m excited to get back out there. Summer (camp with the Kings, in Las Vegas) was good. I’m playing the game I love. I’ll get back to smiling this year. I learned a lot. I’m really looking forward to working with my teammates and coaches, having a lot better year. Hopefully being a lot more consistent.”

Given everything Jimmer went through last year, his rough season was understandable, frustrating as it was at times – both for he and the King fan base. And while he may never be the superstar so many wished him to be, Fredette’s still a hell of a player that shouldn’t be cast aside due to a poor rookie year. In a time of ruthless media along with the Lebron James’ and Blake Griffin’s of the world, expectations of NBA-readiness have skyrocketed. If you’re not succeeding within a handful of games, you’re all but written off as a bust – especially when you’re one of the main focal points in the basketball world, with pundits ready to claim “I told you so”. Fredette’s had a target on his back before he ever set foot on an NBA court – but nothing kills a hater more than a smile.

Tags: Jimmer Fredette Sacramento Kings

  • Matthew Grace

    Yeah he sure did have a target on his back and his coach was constantly firing at it.,,, along with his me- first, freeze fredette out teammates and the front office. Fredette is the stone cold goods. And he showed it in multiple games last year , Nobody ever mentions the huge quarters he had against the Lakers, Clippers, Timberwolves and many other teams,, Where Fredette scored 10 to 15 pts with 4 or 5 assists in a QUARTER and his degenerate coach sits him the rest of the game. Lets get real here… the kings organization is out to destroy Fredette. I cant be the only one who sees this.

    • ProvokingThought

      You aren’t a very happy person are you. You’re conspiracy theories are destroying what little good nature you have left in you.

      • Matthew Grace

        It was a “theory” that smart ass benched Jeremy Lin an ENTIRE SEASON in GS, One of the most talented and exciting PG’s in the game was abused by this “coach.” That aint theory…

        • ProvokingThought

          Turn that frown upside down Matthew Grace. Life’s too short to have your panties in a bunch. Besides, what man enjoy’s the feeling of wedgies?

          noun, plural – the·o·ries.
          1. A coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena. ie: Einstein’s theory of relativity. Synonyms: principle, law, doctrine.
          2. A proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact. Synonyms: idea, notion hypothesis, postulate. Antonyms: practice, verification, corroboration, substantiation.

          Based off the literal interpretation of the description of the word, theory; It’s safe to say that your emotionally biased comment is very much so just that… theory. Even Jimmer himself is able to decipher such an elementary definition.

          Emotionally disturbed people make hundreds of theoretical comments on a daily basis, that does not mean that they are speaking the truth, well… in theory they are.

  • A Royal Pain

    One of the knock’s on coach Smart is his unique rotations. I’m not so sure it was a “anti-Fredette” thing as it was just his weird ways. He’d do similar things to Isaiah Thomas – but gave him a slightly bigger rope out of necessity since Fredette wasn’t as far along in his traditional point guard skills as Thomas. Still, there were times when King fans were scratching their heads over the rotations.

    He certainly had his issues though, especially on the defensive end – but he always gave an effort, which is a lot more than you could say about a lot of struggling, young talents.

    His skill set is perfect for what this team needs, so, I’m not sure they’re out to destroy him, per say, but I do think he should have seen more floor time, despite his issues. The Kings weren’t going any place last year – on the job training wouldn’t have hurt.

  • Chad

    have to agree with grace, if given any confidence fredette is going to shine… he can play right now… the kings, as smart has said in his SI interview, are eat up with jealousy over the fact that fredette was a sensation in college… as a rookie his jersey sales outnumbered the entire kings rosters jersey sales combined, then multiplied by ten… they never wanted him to succeed, neither did smart. as an interim coach hanging by a thread, he decide to join up with the majority, and let them know he to shared in the teams dislike for fredette and his game… its the only reason y a coach would bench a lottery pick directly after playing his best ball of the year, ave 17 points and shooting 60% from down town in a four game stretch. then immediately he is rewarded with back to back dnp’s… now thats exactly how u build a rookies confidance.. smh… but hey, its worked as people with blinders on swear due to the numbers that fredette sucks…. whether by his popularity, or his skin color (lone white guy) sacramento has been about as unfair to fredette as atlanta was to pistol pete. get him out of purgatory, and watch him flourish.. simple as that