It's well deserved. The kid had a great career at BYU. 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. —Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin
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.
"It was his first time here," Miles said. "I don't know if it was so much rattled than that he was so much excited (and) he wanted to do well so bad. ... He'll be all right, though."
But will the divided fanbase?
Jazz vs. Trail Blazers, Monday, 7 p.m. (ROOT)
This one features two of the most underappreciated power forwards — LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap — and a guard Jazz fans still mourn losing.
Jazz vs. Clippers, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN, ROOT)
A national audience will watch the high-flying alley-oop act from ... yep, Salt Lob City. D-Will's nemesis will be available this time (no, not Jerry Sloan).
Jazz at Warriors, Thursday, 8:30 p.m. (ROOT)
Jazz are in a win-win situation. Win and they, well, win. Lose and they boost draft day cause. They get Warriors' top pick as long as it isn't top seven.
Jazz vs. Lakers, Saturday, 7 p.m. (ROOT)
Utah fans might get depressed if they look too closely at the standings and see how the Lakers only have two road wins this year — one at ESA. Oops, sorry.
HOT: Enes Kanter
Rookie had a career-high 12 points in Dallas, and made 8 of 14 field goals last week. Plus, he continues to be a rebounding beast.
NOT: Al Jefferson
Overall, his scoring has been there, but Big Al hasn't shot well (14-for-32 last week) and he's hampered by ankle tendinitis.
THE BIG STAT
By the time they wrap up this current home stand and the friendly portion of their schedule on Wednesday, the Jazz will have played 14 of 20 games at EnergySolutions Arena. Starting Thursday, they'll be away from home in 27 of 46 contests (58.7 percent of their remaining schedule).
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