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Interview — Sacramento Kings' Jimmer Fredette on second NBA year, Keith Smart, starting anew

Excerpts from an interview Wednesday with Sacramento/ex-BYU guard Jimmer Fredette at XSI Factory in Lehi.

Article: Fredette ready for NBA do-over

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Fredette on Summer League with the Kings: The first game was bad for all of us. It just wasn't a good game; throw that one out. I thought I played really, really well the rest of the time. Even if the shot wasn't going some of the time, it was more about being aggressive, just going out, being a leader, getting that mindset back. So I thought I did a great job of that. I was really excited about it, and I think it's going to help me out going into this next season to have that mindset back, just to be the player that I am.

Voluntary mini-camp with the Kings: We went out there last week and we were able to do that. There was 10 guys there, so we were able to work out together and kind of do some five-on-five things and stuff like that and lift together. It's good for us as a young team to really want to play for each other and have that type of chemistry on the floor and off the floor. So, it's important for us for sure. It was a great thing for us.

How he's viewing situation with Sacramento: I just worry about the things that I can control. And that's right now just working on my game and becoming the best player I can be. When it comes to the training camp, I know that I'll be ready to go. I'll show them that I can be a very good player in this league and a guy that can help their team. That's what my focus is right now. Whatever happens in the future, I can't really predict that. But I'm working on becoming the best player that I can be. If I control that and be the best player that I can be, I'm going to find a spot and be in the right place.

Has he been told whether he'll be able to compete for a starting spot: They haven't said anything about that, specifically. Just haven't communicated with them — I'm sure that they're thinking about different things and different scenarios and all that. I know that I'll be competing for a spot, regardless. You're going into training camp, you're a professional — you don't have to be told that you're competing for a spot, at least I don't. I know that I'm going to be in the mix and I'm really excited to be able to show them that I can play.

Kings' potential and having something to prove to Sacramento: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I've been in that position a lot. But, like I said, one thing that is good about me is, I've got better every single year at BYU and in high school. I think that's going to happen soon. Same thing in the NBA. I work hard in the offseason to be a better play and be in good condition. But, also, going through a year knowing what you can and can't do always helps you out. So, I'm excited to get out there and prove a lot of critics wrong. I don't listen to it too much, but I know they're out there. I know there are some out there.

Good to get the 2011-12 lockout season out of the way: Yeah. It was a tough year for ourselves as a Kings organization. Just with everything that went on and the lockout — everyone wasn't used to that, myself especially. Then going into training camp, having everything be kind of crazy and get a coaching change right away. It was definitely tough. There was just a bunch of stuff going on around our team. I'm excited to have a full Summer League and then have a full training camp this year and show everybody that I can go out there and play, and I think that'll be very, very beneficial to our whole team and myself to be able to do that and compete for a spot.

Who has he bonded with on the Kings: I mean, a lot of different guys. It hasn't been one certain guy that I hang out with all the time or anything like that. I have a lot of different guys that I like to hang out [with], especially on the court and in the locker room, talk with different guys. It's kind of a combined thing, and I that's good. I don't think I've just necessarily had one guy that had a clique. It's been an opportunity for me to get to know all of my teammates better, and whoever I'm next to, I'll joke around with. I'm to that point where I know everybody really, really well — kind of like I was at BYU. It feels a lot better.

His evolving relationship with Kings coach Keith Smart and reaching an understanding: You know, I hope so. I mean, I think that our relationship has definitely evolved. He came in a tough situation and kind of just had to feel it out. It was tough for him. He didn't know what rotation he should play. So, sometimes you played a lot, sometimes you didn't play at all. It's not his fault, to a degree. He's just trying to find whatever worked that game. But I think for him, having that training camp and seeing which guys he thinks he can go with for the whole season, that's going to be an important thing. We've been growing our relationship this whole summer. He came out and worked out with me in Denver, just me and him for four days — different things like that. It's been good to build that relationship.

What he learned during his rookie season, and how he can make a mark in the NBA: I think we haven't necessarily seen it yet. It's going to be just my scoring mentality — I think that’s what it’s going to be like. It’s going to be me going out there and being aggressive and shooting the basketball and being fearless. That’s something that I’ve always done, and that’s going to be my niche in this league.

Playing more like a shooting guard than a point guard: I don't know if you can necessarily say that anymore. There's a lot of point guards that are scoring point guards. … There's a lot of different guys that can really score the basketball. … I think so. I think that's going to be my niche.

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz


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