Extra observations from one of the weirdest games I’ve ever attended — the Jazz’s 96-93 win over the Kings, Jimmer and, um, their own fans fighting with their own fans?:
POINT 1: I’ve tweeted a lot about fans booing/cheering Jimmer during the wacky Kings-Jazz game. And I’m not the only one. A sampling of differing opinions on Twitter:
If nothing else, the way fans reacted Saturday night shows the Utah-BYU rivalry is as heated as ever. Weird thing is, Jimmer won over the hearts of many Ute fans last spring when he was doing his thing — including dropping 47 on Utah at the Huntsman Center.
The enormous amount of ink and bandwidth used to write about Fredette likely soured some of his temporary fans. Even some BYU fans had Jimmer Overload.
The part that doesn’t sit quite right with me is that fans take it out on Fredette, as if he were the one drumming up the media madness. He delivered the 35-footers and exciting hoops. The media delivered sports segments, papers and pages full of hype.
It should not have been a surprise that Jimmer got booed Saturday night. Heck, some EnergySolutions Arena fans boo the Cougarettes when they perform at halftime. Maybe the Crimson Line gets jeered too — I’ve just never heard it.
But I was taken back that he got booed by a bunch of anti-Jimmerites every time he touched the ball. I found that strange. Maybe boo him once because he’s a King. But all night? C.J. Miles thought it might’ve rattled Fredette, so maybe it was good strategy by those Jazz fans. And I can understand how some fans could’ve been upset that other “Jazz fans” were cheering for the other team in a tight game.
The whole atmosphere seemed off, though. Yeah, it was loud and crazy and explosive. But, honestly, the continual vitriol and mocking tone (especially after the late missed 3-pointer) was bothersome. But, hey, paying fans can do what they want with their vocal cords.
Jimmer just doesn’t fit the role of NBA villain for me. I can understand why passionate Jazz fans would boo Kobe, LeBron, Nowitzki, Boozer or some knuckleheads in the league. But spend an entire night booing a guy like Fredette who gave this state’s hoops scene a long-distance shot in the arm last year? Who seems to be as nice and humble as they come?
(Don’t boo Dale Murphy.)
It became downright weird when Jimmer fans started cheering every time he touched the ball to drown out the boos. By the end of the game, some fans were cheering for the Jazz, some were cheering for the Jazz and Jimmer, some were cheering for Jimmer, some were cheering against Jimmer, some were really conflicted and were cheering for Jimmer to beat their own team because of fans who were cheering against Jimmer, and one guy in a “Y” shirt was getting Jimmered with silly string by Bear almost all night. (The guy did end up with an autographed basketball from the hilarious Jazz mascot.)
As I tweeted earlier today, I think the majority of the 19,911 fans in attendance wanted Jimmer to score a ridiculous amount of points — in a Jazz win. A good comparison was made on Twitter: For many, it was like having your fantasy football star play against your favorite NFL team. Go Adrian Peterson, win Steelers!
What would have really been epic for Jimmer/Jazz fans — Fredette nailing that 3-pointer to put the Kings up by one and then having Gordon Hayward, Utah’s hot hand, answer with a buzzer-beater.
I’ll wrap this up with a little confession: I once paid money out of my own pocket to watch Jimmer play. I’m lucky enough to get paid to watch pro basketball for half of the year, but I wanted to witness the phenomenon in person. My wife even agreed to go with me. Turned out, Deron Williams and C.J. Miles attended that game because they wanted to see him play, too.
It was fun. He scored 20-some-odd points and made a few spectacular plays. It was at BYU, so he didn’t get booed. Then again, I don’t think D-Will heard boos in Utah that day, either.
My how times change. Too bad. The high road is a good path to travel on.
POINT 2: C.J. Miles had a strong outing with a season-high 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting after having only shot 12-for-33 (36.3 percent) which the Jazz needed due to a rough go for Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson. I was particularly impressed how Miles and Hayward played together when the reserve began the third quarter with the starters in place of injured Raja Bell. Josh Howard hasn’t shaken the rust off since returning from his strained quad, so Coach Corbin might’ve gone with him if he were completely healthy and playing well. But Miles is making it interesting and has gained more trust with his more consistent play the past couple of weeks.
POINT 3: Wonder if the Jazz would be willing to move Jimmer’s next scheduled visit — on March 30 — to a neutral site?
And with that, I’m going to take the advice of Vince “@vizzle07” Oveson: “Jody, I love you man. But please. Please. No more Jimmer talk. Please. I seriously don’t wanna unfollow you.
Consider it gone.
After this last thoug … ha, just kidding.