It appears many around the NBA landscape are still refusing to acknowledge these Sacramento Kings. While players and coaches have slowly been forced to realize the threat the Kings are on the court, not all fans have begun respecting the franchise at the same rate.
That is proven quite simply by the NBA’s early voting returns for the 2023 NBA All-Star game. The fan voting has shown one thing clearly – the Sacramento Kings are still getting no respect from fans around the NBA.
That’s right, no Kings appear in the top ten for backcourt or frontcourt voting. In recent years, this would be a nonissue. This season, though, the Kings have a player in both the frontcourt and the backcourt that should at the very least be in the top ten of vote-getters.
While there are the typical names that get a lot of votes simply because of their team’s fanbase, such as Austin Reaves of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevon Looney of the Golden State Warriors, that is no excuse for the top ten to be missing the Kings two star players.
Kings all-star candidates get no respect in early fan vote returns
De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis both fall short of making the top ten vote-getters at their respective positions. That is hard to imagine but not shocking when you remember people don’t think this Kings team is as good as they truly are.
The lack of respect is hard to ignore. Fox has emerged as an elite closer in the NBA this season. He is scoring and distributing, but most importantly, is the closer and clutch performer that has won the Kings many games this season.
Sabonis, on the other hand, is the most shocking admission of these lists. He has been a double-double machine this year and mixed in a handful of massive triple-doubles. For a while, he was the Kings best player and was powering them to more wins than losses.
He is who the offense runs through, a rare elite distributing big man in the NBA. He leads the team in rebounding by a wide margin and is a strong scorer to add to the list of things he can do on the court. Most notably, and something casual fans likely miss, Sabonis has been a top-notch rim protector and defender overall.
It seems as if early fan voting has been far more dependent on reputation than this season’s production. The Kings are in the middle of a tough playoff race in the western conference. Fox and Sabonis have been the leaders on this team and are playing at elite levels.
One thing is very clear from these early voting tallies: Kings fans will have to step up and vote early and often in order for their all-star caliber players to earn spots in this year’s all-star game.