Kings notes: Ex-BYU star Jimmer takes Utah media crush in stride

Published: Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012 - 2:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The crowd of media waiting for Jimmer Fredette didn't bother the second-year guard before the Kings played the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.

Even though the questions about why Fredette isn't playing more were certain to come, Fredette wasn't bothered by the attention he draws in the state where he was a collegiate superstar for BYU.

"I hope forever," Fredette said when asked how long he expects to draw so much attention in Utah. "I hope for as long as I come back it will still be like this. You guys mean a lot to me."

Someone who can relate to Fredette is Kings coach Keith Smart.

"I have that feeling a little bit going back to Indiana after 25 years," Smart said.

Smart made the game-winning shot for Indiana University in the 1987 NCAA championship game.

Smart said Fredette can expect to be welcomed whenever he visits Utah.

"When you're a good guy and you've played well and you've done things well in the area you come back into, you're going to be loved forever," Smart said. "So I think as long as he plays basketball, he's going to have that effect here."

But the Jazz plays in Salt Lake City, home of the University of Utah and a heated rival of BYU.

So when Fredette checked in for the Kings to start the second quarter, there were still plenty of boos to go with the cheers.

No double trouble – The Kings are doing all they can to limit open three-pointers by opponents.

That's led to a defensive strategy of double teaming opponents as little as possible.

"The more you double in the NBA, the more you're going to open yourself up to three-point shooting," Smart said.

He would rather the Kings play man-to-man defense and have a player score two points than be hurt by the three-point shot.

"The more rotations you have, the more trouble you're going to have," Smart said.

Turkey run – The Kings didn't practice on Thanksgiving, opting for a nighttime flight to Salt Lake City for Friday's game.

So to make sure his players weren't sluggish from a big Thanksgiving meal, Smart put the Kings through an up-tempo session for the morning shootaround.

"We ran them pretty well (Friday) morning," Smart said. "I knew the turkey would have a little effect on them."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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