Rick Reilly comes to Sacramento, leaves $5,000 lighter

ESPN’s Rick Reilly made a visit to Sacramento on Tuesday night.  It’s not often he comes this way, but he needed to settle a bet.  In case you missed this article from March 25th of this year, Reilly gave his honest opinion on the future of Jimmer Fredette.  Reilly didn’t hold any punches as he buried the BYU senior guard months before the Sacramento Kings drafted him with the tenth overall pick.  Reilly wrote, “But you think this barely 6-2 kid with no speed and YMCA hops can be the next Maravich or Ainge or Westbrook?”  He continued:  “Fredette about it.”

The article ruffled some feathers, especially those of Al Fredette, Jimmer’s father.  We spoke to Al the day Jimmer, Isaiah Thomas and Tyler Honeycutt were introduced to the Sacramento media, following the 2011 NBA draft.  Needless to say, he wasn’t super happy about the disparaging remarks by Reilly and neither was former ESPN Sportcenter anchor Dan Patrick.

Reilly’s critique went far enough that he put his money where his mouth was,

I wrote … BYU’s super scorer Jimmer Fredette will be a bust in the NBA because he’s too small, too slow and too bored by defense. In fact, I promised to donate $5,000 to Jimmer’s favorite charity if he started even one game in his first year, which will be with the Sacramento Kings. – Rick Reilly

It’s nice to see that Reilly is a man of his word.  Sure it was only pre-season, but Jimmer started in his first game as a professional basketball player.  With John Salmons on the shelf sidelined by a thigh contusion, Jimmer started alongside Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans in a three-guard set.  He didn’t disappoint, in fact, Jimmer scored 21 points and dished out four assists in the 107-92 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

So Reilly was in town to square up and wrote this little follow-up.

Tuesday I handed him a check for $5,000 made out to the Fredette Family Foundation, which helps families in New York, Utah and Sacramento.

In the check’s memo line, I wrote: Crow.

Jimmer takes it all with a grain of salt…

Jonathan Santiago also contributed to this post.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".