Tom Smart, Deseret News
Due to the weird atmosphere, Earl Watson joked that Saturday's Jimmer vs. Jazz game felt like he was playing in a Utah-BYU contest. Too bad Utah State wasn't involved. A Wild Bill showing would've topped the night. Five parting shots from Fredettefest:
1. The "OOOOs!" have it
Some people were perturbed that The Jimmer got the loudest cheers of the night, and the Jazz arena did explode when he drained three threes and when he criss-crossed through Utah's defense for a layup.
Others were upset he was routinely booed.
One person in my inbox even denied that more than a few boos happened. Considering I swear fans yelled "BOOOO!" not "SHOOOOT!" fairly loudly every time he touched the ball, this might mean I mistakenly heard D-Will getting booed and that Jazz fans were indeed screaming a friendly "BOOOOZ" in Carlos Boozer's return.
He plays for cowbell-crazy Sacramento, so maybe Jimmer groupies were bellowing "MOOOO!"
2. Been there, done that
Indiana's version of Jimmermania is Hayward hysteria. Or something like that. Gordon Hayward gets to go back next week. The ex-Butler hero's hoops homecoming was something to see and hear last year as dozens and dozens of Pacer loyalists sported No. 20 Jazz shirts in his honor. Conseco Fieldhouse went bonkers when he dunked over Paul George.
With that in mind, Hayward wasn't shocked by the positive reception the Kings' guard received in Jazzland.
"I was involved in that when I went home last year," Hayward fondly recalled. "It was the same type of thing, just on the opposite side for us (Saturday). It's good that we got the win."
A 21-point night from Hayward wasn't too shabby, either.
3. So, where's Beyonce?
Jazz rookie Alec Burks' first experience with Jimmermania made him wonder if a rap star was in the house — and, sorry, that isn't a T.J. Fredette reference.
"I have never seen anything like that. That's crazy the way he gets that recognition," the 20-year-old said. "I thought Jay-Z or someone had walked up, but it was just Jimmer."
Burks showed a little Jimmer himself Saturday, dropping a couple of 3-pointers during his eight-point outing.
Now if the Colorado product could just get people to stop calling him "Eric" and "Alex."
4. Kudos to the competition
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin played in the NBA for 16 years, was Jerry Sloan's assistant for seven and is in his second season as head coach, so it's hard to surprise him.
"I've been around the league a long time," Corbin said. "I've seen a lot of things happen when guys come back to their home place."
This time it included a whole lot of cheering (and some jeering) for Fredette when he was announced, touched the ball or scored. But Corbin was fine hearing cheers for a visitor at home.
"It's well deserved. The kid had a great career at BYU," Corbin said. "He's a good person. He's well deserving of his recognition. The fans really love him, and I'm happy for him. I'm glad we got the win, though."
5. So you're saying Jimmer got Jazzed?
Jazz swingman C.J. Miles thought the anti-Jimmerites in the arena might've gotten to Fredette, who went 3-for-5 from long distance but 5-for-13 overall.
"I think our fans rattled him a little bit," Miles said. "But he's a tremendous player, everybody knows that."
On second thought, Miles wondered if Fredette got Jimmered by the thrill and pressure of his college state pro debut.
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