One mishap can change one's life in a second. None learned this harder than Jimmer Fredette did when he called up Pete D'Alessandro to ask his friend if he wanted to grab a bite to eat at his favorite burger joint, In 'n Out.
"I was a little hungry and had been meaning to talk to Pete about my plans to retire a King and sign a long-term deal when he sounded a little confused. It is a confusing time for everyone right now, with the Winter Olympics being finished and us not knowing what to watch or do with our lives, so I just thought nothing of it. I said. 'Hey there Pete, I want to buy you some In 'n Out.'" said the fan favorite. "He told me he didn't really want to do that, and asked me how much it would be, so I told him $6.35, and he agreed. I went to In 'n Out, waited a few hours, and Pete never showed. I thought I did something wrong! Next thing I know, I am listening to Carmichael Dave and Keith Brooks the next morning, and I hear that I am getting bought out. It's messed up! I like it here."
"It was strange... about 11:30 in the afternoon I got a call from Jimmer and he said "Hey there Pete, I want to... buyout." I was stunned. Then when he said it would only cost us $6.35 I figured we did something really bad to make him mad, so I obliged. The next morning, he calls me in a panic and asks what I was doing. I told him what happened, but it turned out he just wanted to BUY me some In 'n OUT. I been meaning to change phones, as I have a problem with the sound going in and out, no pun intended. It's kind of embarrassing when you think about it. But hey, we all make mistakes." said D'Alessandro.
When asked if he was going to reverse the buyout the first-year Kings GM said, "Nah, it's a lot of paperwork, then I gotta talk to Adam Silver, send some faxes, it's kind of a lot of work, and I just don't really feel like stressing over every mistake I make. He'll forget eventually."
This was just the beginning, however, as word spread throughout the area. Stores were closing, rioters were rioting, and looters were looting. STOP even got involved and sent out 52 petitions to keep this transaction from happening. They were thrown out after it was realize that the petitions were written in scented marker and fingernail polish. Sacramento was a madhouse. That night, when word got to the Kings right before the game, reality struck.
"I heard first, then told Corliss." Mike Malone, first-year coach of the Kings said, "Corliss told me that whatever I did, I could not tell DeMarcus until after the game. The whole team cried for a few minutes until DeMarcus entered the locker room with a smile on his face. 'Where's Jimmer, I bought him a friendship bracelet. I've been so excited to give it to him.'"
The coach said he did not want to, but he had to lie and say Jimmer left with a stomach flu. The lie worked until the the start of the game, when the coach made a mistake. "Make a shot! Jimmer's not here to bail us out anymore!" exclaimed Malone. When DeMarcus heard this, he punched Patrick Beverly, yelled at the ref, tried to fight Dwight, yelled at another ref, tried to fight Corliss, threw his headband, and ran to the locker room crying.
"I might have overreacted a little bit, but he was my best friend!", explained the big man, "We were supposed to go to FunderLand this weekend. I just got a little emotional and I guess I kind of overreacted."
A touching moment did occur after the game when Jimmer came into the locker room after the game and said his goodbyes. DeMarcus was able to give Jimmer the friendship bracelet he had been so excited about, and the two shared a hug.
"It felt good to have some closure, and as soon as my other friend, Marcus Thornton, gets back from his vacation to Istanbul, I will at least still have someone to play with.", DeMarcus said of the incident. "Don't tell anyone, but I got him a bracelet too!"
Malone looked at us from behind him with one finger over his lips and a silent hush.