T.J. Fredette rips Keith Smart, wonders why Jimmer isn’t playing
The Sacramento Kings have lost six in a row and first-round pick Jimmer Fredette has hardly played recently. Jimmer has played 63 minutes during the six-game losing streak. He missed one game with a stomach illness and did not play in Tuesday’s loss to the Heat because of coach Keith Smart’s decision. The benching Tuesday prompted Jimmer’s older brother T.J., who has pushed Jimmer throughout his career, to call out Smart via Twitter.
T.J. called Smart an “interim coach” who “should be an assistant at best,” but later deleted the tweet. Fredette also tweeted with fans saying things like “check the games isiahs played well, all losses!! they gave up 92 in the paint one game, guess that was all jimmers fault.” Almost all of the tweets have been deleted, though a few calling for Jimmer to play remain on his account.
The Kings are 10-22 on the season and have the second-worst record in the Western Conference. They went 2-5 (.285) under Paul Westphal and have gone 8-17 under Smart (.320). They’ve performed slightly better under Smart, and his coaching has brought out better performances from DeMarcus Cousins.
One of the issues is that rookie second-round pick Isaiah Thomas has seen an explosion in minutes the last few games. Thomas scored 24 against the Heat and 23 points the game before that. He even posted 20 points in the third quarter Tuesday making five threes.
We understand why they want Isaiah to see more action given the way he’s been playing, but they also should give Jimmer an opportunity to play regular minutes rather than just view him as a three-point gunner off the bench. T.J.’s complaint comes out of a desire to support his brother, but they probably will create problems in the organization. Maybe it will prompt the Kings to play Jimmer more, or possibly trade him.