The best guards in the NBA are really good at keeping their dribble alive and reading the pick-and-roll. I will be working a lot on that. —Jimmer Fredette
Editor's note: Former BYU basketball star Travis Hansen caught up with Jimmer Fredette this week, who recently completed his rookie season with the Sacramento Kings. Here is part of their conversation.
Hansen: How was your first season?
Jimmer: It was a good first season. Obviously, being in the NBA is a dream come true. I get to play against the best players in the world almost every night. It was a little tough on my body sometimes playing back-to-back-to-back games. It was a little crazy of a year because of the shortened year due to the lockout, but it was fun. I am looking forward to working hard and being more consistent this upcoming year.
Hansen: What did you say to your brother TJ when he tweeted comments critical of your coach?
Jimmer: I told him that he doesn't need to do that, especially with the impact of social media nowadays. He can vent to friends and family but doesn't need to share it on any social media sites. He realizes that social media is powerful. It can help or hurt you and can have a tremendous impact on you. He has apologized and knows not to go there.
Hansen: What fundamentals do you feel you need to work on this summer?
Jimmer: That is a good question. After my first year in the NBA, I have seen how important the pick-and-roll is. We play it a lot. It is important to read the situations, see how they are guarding you, be able to attack the big guy — and the best guards in the NBA are really good at keeping their dribble alive and reading the pick-and-roll. I will be working a lot on that.
Hansen: Who was the toughest guy you had to play against this year?
Jimmer: There are many great players in the NBA, but the one that sticks out right now is Russell Westbrook. He is so athletic, freakishly athletic, and being so quick. He recovers so fast and has so many natural gifts, and he is really hard to play defense against.
Hansen: What were the best and worst arenas you played in?
Jimmer: Oklahoma City was the best, and probably Charlotte was the worst.
Hansen: Who will win the playoffs?
Jimmer: I have always thought since the beginning of the year that the Miami Heat have a great shot at winning it all. I also like Oklahoma City Thunder, and hopefully they will meet in the finals.
Hansen: What do you do during your downtime in between games?
Jimmer: I am really into the television series "Lost." I have been into it a lot lately.
Hansen: Can you share any funny stories from your rookie year?
Jimmer: The best prank I could tell you about is when one of the rookies (Tyler Honeycutt) taped a picture of a funny-looking guy to Francisco Garcia's locker saying he looked like him. Francisco got revenge two months later by filling his car, that was parked outside the arena during practice, full of popcorn.
Hansen: Who are you closest to on the team?
Jimmer: I am really close with the other rookies, Tyler and Isaiah (Thomas). I also have been able to spend time with Travis Outlaw, Jason Thompson and Donte Greene. I didn't have any problems with anyone. I was able to mingle and create good relationships with just about everyone on the team.
Hansen: What positive things have you been part of since joining the Kings?11 comments on this story
Jimmer: Before the draft, I prayed to be able to go to a team where I could have a great impact. It has been a very tough year for me, especially after the fun senior year at BYU. It has been very different with playing time, being away from family and my fiancée, Whitney, friends and start completely over. I believe it did help me become a stronger person. The scriptures have really helped me throughout this year. When times were tough, I was able to find comfort with them. I feel spiritually I have become a stronger person and I believe whatever the reason I am in Sacramento we will find out later now. I have a lot more basketball in me, and there will be many more opportunities out there in Sacramento, and I am looking forward to them.