I feel so bad for Jimmer. I really don't think he's happy in Sacramento, and I can't say I blame him. As I heard one commentator say this morning: "That smile is gone from his face." When Jimmer is sad, it makes me sad. :(
Since I'm not Jimmer's brother, I'm more allowed to say this than TJ is: the Kings' new coach, Keith Smart, is not the brightest crayon in the box. In fact, the whole Sacramento Kings team is a complete mess. Why is Isaiah Thomas suddenly playing more than Jimmer? Don't get me wrong-- I like Thomas. He's an incredible player, especially for being only 1 inch taller than ME . But Smart says it's because Thomas isn't "overthinking" like Jimmer is. That may be true, but can you blame Jimmer for "overthinking"? He's losing a lot of his confidence because you won't let him play, and everyone else on the team wants to be the one and only star. That's not a team! As an article I read awhile back said, the Kings need to go back to Kindergarten to learn how to share and get a vocabulary lesson on what the word "assist" means. Dear Mr. Smart-- it's your job to teach them that, and you're doing a really sucky job. You want to start winning some games? Turn your team into a TEAM.
A quote from Smart on the Kings' blog (about Jimmer): "That young man is coming along. If everybody in the world would just leave me alone and let me develop this kid, he's going to be OK. This young man is developing the right way to be a player in the NBA for a long time. I know everybody around the world wants him to have his shining light right now, but I've been in the NBA for a long time and I know what I'm doing to develop guards to have sustained success. Right now, he is moving in the right direction . . . I have the experience, so let me do my job."
Wow. Can you imagine Dave Rose saying something like that? Never. There are better ways to handle coaching. Maybe Jimmer's not capable of being a "shining light" anytime soon. I love Jimmer, but I know he's not perfect and he's got a lot to work on. But we'll never know what his potential is if you don't give him the opportunity to play and force the other players to cut him some slack. He got another DNP-CD this weekend. Totally unacceptable in my book. You don't have to play him 100% of the time, but at least give him SOMETHING. What better time to give him a shot than right now, when your hopes of reaching the playoffs are completely zilch? You're losing almost every game anyway, so what have you got to lose? He is the only unselfish player on the team. If nothing else, let him be an example. Sheesh . . .
I watched a Sacramento game that was backlogged on my TiVo the other night. Jimmer played about 15 minutes, and it was the same story as the last time I saw him play, when he came to Utah in January. No one will give him the ball, no matter how wide open he is or how loud he calls for it. I also watched as Smart railed on him for about 5 minutes and put him on the bench because he got double-teamed, shoved into a corner, and lost the ball out of bounds. Yeah, that's a great way to boost his confidence. Maybe Jimmer could have handled the situation better, but don't humiliate him for it! Sigh . . .
Unfortunately, I think I see it coming-- I'm going to go to the game in Salt Lake on Friday, and Jimmer will hardly play, if at all. The crowd will likely start a riot and the blazing torches will force Smart out the building, leading him to cower in a corner of the Gateway Mall, fearing for his life . . . or maybe not. But either way, it's not gonna be pretty if Jimmer doesn't get some decent playing time soon, especially in that game.
Hang in there, Jimmer. Hopefully another coaching change or a trade or some attitude adjustments will come soon and work in your favor. Your Provo loyals (me especially!) will stand by you, no matter what.