Updated at 4:32 PM PT
On two levels, Jimmer Fredette can relate to Jeremy Lin.
In Jimmer-mania, the former BYU superstar experienced a similar phenomenon to Lin-sanity. Fredette understands the adoration, adulation and admiration of an extremely rabid fanbase.
Now as a rookie, Fredette is enduring the same growing pains Lin experienced in his first NBA season. The Kings rookie
earned his third career “did not play – coach’s decision” did not play last night due to illness last night against the Chicago Bulls, but has seen his minutes fluctuate due largely to the play of fellow rookie Isaiah Thomas. Last year, Lin appeared in only 19 games for the Golden State Warriors and spent stints in the D-League with the Reno Bighorns.
Watch the video after the jump.
Video: Jimmer Fredette on Jeremy Lin
Smart advised Lin to embrace the spotlight
When the Warriors held media day last season, Lin’s presence was a spectacle. Countless members of the press came to interview the then-rookie point guard.
“When he came in we had media from all over,” said Kings head coach Keith Smart to reporters last week, who served in the same capacity with the Warriors in 2011. “I said, ‘Man, I’ve never seen that before.”
The attention was something Lin didn’t relish. But Smart encouraged him to enjoy the experience and reminded the young point guard of a bigger picture.
“I said, you know something Jeremy? Embrace it,” Smart said. ”Because this window (of) a pro career – pro player – is a short window. It’s not a thirty year deal, so embrace it right now. Enjoy, get what you can from it and really enjoy. And he started relaxing a little bit.”
Sam Amick has more from Smart on Lin in a feature he wrote for Sports Illustrated last week.
Video: Keith Smart on Jeremy Lin’s success
Follow Jonathan on Twitter.