Win or lose, Kings coach Keith Smart is usually asked about Jimmer Fredette after every game.
Fredette had a solid showing in the Kings' 99-98 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday with 11 points off the bench. Fredette has scored in double figures in three of five games this month, but was also scoreless in 10 minutes at Phoenix.
Here is how Smart addressed the latest question about Fredette's progress:
"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. Tonight is another night where the kid understood how to play. He understands and sees the floor, but there's other things he doesn't understand yet, because he doesn't have the experience yet. I have the experience so let me do my job."
Smart worked a lot of guards in Golden State. Smart has enjoyed seeing Jeremy Lin have success by implementing things he told him he needed to work on. Smart also worked with Stephen Curry extensively.
I found some quotes from Curry on working with Smart from late January that I never used to provide some insight into what Smart is doing with Fredette.
Curry on Smart helping him learn the NBA game:
"It was more mental preparation, seeing the game before it happens. After you warm up take about 10 minutes to envision how the game is going to unfold so nothing surprises you. And after you watch a lot of film you'll know your opponent and be able to do that. On this level it's of the utmost importance so he helped me to do that."
Curry on advice from Smart on being a big-time college player adjusting to the NBA:
"He encourages you to stay confident in your abilities. When we were in college, those nights, referring to Jimmer and myself, didn't come very often. In the league it's on another level so just remain confident in your abilities and know that it will come."
On working on mistakes, such as driving too deep along the baseline:
"Just trial and error. Figuring out how defenses collapse, just staying in the film room, watching different reads and not getting yourself in trouble and always having an out."
Fredette on his development:
"I'm feeling good. You just never know how many minutes you're going to get during the game so it's about being prepared and ready when you get out there and doing the best you can when you get out there. The game has definitely slowed down for me. I feel more comfortable when I get out there."
Fredette on if he's familiar with Curry's time with Smart:
"I know Steph a little bit. I haven't talked to him about the exact situation that he has been through but we have the same agent so I've been able to talk to him and see how things are going. Obviously a different situation but the same type of player maybe. But he's a great player, he's been doing his thing and I've been trying to be get in this league and be a great player and hopefully it'll be here with coach Smart. He's doing a great job."
Is Fredette a finished pro? Far from it. But Smart just asks that you be patient because he knows what he's doing.