The hoopla surrounding Jimmer Fredette’s return to Utah has calmed considerably since his first NBA game at EnergySolutions Arena.
In his first visits for games against the Utah Jazz, the Kings had to set up separate media time to accommodate the reporters who wanted to interview Fredette before games.
That wasn’t the case before Saturday night’s game as Fredette just another player in the locker room before the Kings played the Jazz.
Fredette was a college superstar at Brigham Young University in nearby Provo, winning consensus National Player of the Year in his senior season. But Fredette hasn’t been able to find consistent playing time as a pro with the Kings, having fallen out of coach Michael Malone’s rotation.
Even without the extra attention, Fredette finds games against the Jazz enjoyable away from the court.
“It’s always fun to come back and you always have support and you always have people that want to see you,” Fredette said. “So it’s definitly different than any other road game, because there are so many people that want to see you and talk to you before the game. It’s died down a little big, but it’s always a good time.”
Fredette said he was able to visit with his sister before Saturday’s game and see a lot of friends.
He even looks forward to the hecklers he hears, who he figures are big Jazz fans or fans of BYU’s rival, the University of Utah.
“I’m fine with it,” he said. “I know I have tons of supporters out here, and I appreciate it.”
There are still plenty of fans who want to see Fredette play.
There were also a few chants for Malone to put Fredette into the game.
That did not happen. Fredette did not play for the fifth consecutive game.
Welcome back – The Kings recalled center Hamady Ndiaye from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League Saturday. He was dressed and active for Saturday night’s game.
Ndiaye was assigned to the Bighorns Friday. He had seven points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots in Reno’s 129-122 win over the Santa Cruz Warriors.
On Saturday, Ndiaye was used in the first quarter to intentionally foul Jazz center Andris Biedrins. He fouled Biedrins three times in the final 1:48 of the quarter. Biedrins missed five of his six free throws.