With about a minute and a half remaining in the first quarter of Monday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Jimmer Fredette dribbled to his right, gained a little separation from the Lakers' Andrew Goudelock with a ball fake, and fading away from 15 feet hit his first official NBA shot attempt.
It trumped his first attempt in college. "My first one at BYU, I airballed it," Fredette said after the Kings' 100-91 win over the Lakers at Power Balance Pavilion. "So this one was much better."
As debuts go, Fredette's highly anticipated one with the Kings wasn't necessarily a jaw-dropper. Fredette played a little more than 25 minutes, made 3-of-8 shots from the field for 6 points, grabbed a rebound and had three assists and three turnovers.
He made his first three shots and missed his next five. He made a few nice passes while facilitating the offense during stretches with Tyreke Evans on the bench. He also appeared tentative in passing up some good looks, and hesitated in the air with the ball a couple of times when his shot or pass was contested.
Somewhat to the disappointment of a crowd that seemed to swell each time he received a pass behind the three-point line, Fredette attempted no three-pointers. He later said he was making an effort to be more aggressive with the ball.
"It felt like they were running at me at the three-point line," Fredette said. "I was pump-faking them, getting one of those one-dribble jumpers, made a couple of them, missed a couple of them. Probably could've shot a couple threes, but I decided to pump-fake, take a dribble, shoot it that way."
He added about his debut: "It was just going out there, trying to be aggressive, looking for my opportunities, whatever it is that I have for a chance. It was just a great team effort tonight, great win."
Fredette checked into the game with 6:06 left in the first quarter -- and was promptly called for double-dribble on his first official touch. He chuckled when asked if he had envisioned his debut beginning that way.
"You don't think about that, but I got in there, made a play and tried to get off the shot, but he closed pretty quickly," Fredette said. "I looked to throw it out, but didn't get the chance. Sometimes that happens. And I played much better after that, so it was good."
Head coach Paul Westphal acknowledged that Fredette played "a little bit" tentative, but added: "Every game isn't a masterpiece. He helped us out there. There are a few things he can do better, and he will."
-- Matt Kawahara