Jimmer Fredette Wants To Be Himself In Audition With Suns
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – There was an unusually large crowd for media availability at Phoenix Suns shootaround the morning before the team’s game against the Utah Jazz.
In the middle of it all, the man who captured the nation’s attention with his nightly dazzling scoring outbursts with BYU back in 2011, Jimmer Fredette.
Over the weekend, Fredette was signed for the rest of the season by the Suns with a team option for next season.
He’s been here before though. It’s not his first time in the show. He was drafted in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and immediately traded to the Sacramento Kings. He lasted just a few years with Kings before being bought out halfway through the 2014 season. He then had stints with the Bulls and Pelicans before ending up in the D League with the Westchester Knicks before playing his way into a 10-day contract with the Knicks. When that didn’t pan out, he went all the way to China, where he became a bit of a star with the Shanghai Sharks. Finally, after three years in China, the NBA came calling again over this last weekend.
Pen to paper 📝 pic.twitter.com/e2S7uN4hJ8
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 22, 2019
Having been giving another chance to make it as an NBA player, Fredette feels that things will different this time around, thanks to his time in China.
“I’ve matured as a basketball player,” said Fredette. “And as a person in general. I have a family now and that puts things in perspective. You just go out there and play your game, be myself, be aggressive. I’ve worked on a lot of things while in China, being able to play so much gametime, on-the-court time over the last three years, really makes you feel so much better.”
“Hopefully this time, it’ll be a different story,” he added.
When asked what he needs to do to get the team option for next year, he repeated a key phrase from an earlier question.
“Just be myself,” said Fredette.
His head coach, former Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov, echoed that statement.
Hey Utah fans, you going for Jimmer or the Jazz tonight?!
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 25, 2019
“We don’t want to put to react in terms of putting too much expectations on him, pressure on him that he’s got to step on the court and put up 40 points every night. Just being himself, come ready, come prepared and when the team needs you, just perform and play,” said Kokoskov.
Calling his first game in a Suns uniform in Sacramento on Saturday and Monday’s game in Utah a bit of a “reunion tour,” Fredette is expecting a big turnout and mixed reactions from fans at Vivint SmartHome Arena.
“It’s always good to be back in Utah,” said Fredette. “Haven’t played here in a while so it’s fun to get back and see some friends and I’m sure it’ll be a great crowd tonight. A lot of BYU fans and a lot of Utah fans, mix them both in and it’ll be fun.”
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