When De’Aaron Fox picks up a basketball it is poetry in motion. As one of the fastest players in the league, he can beat anyone down the floor. He can score wherever he wants to and pretty much whenever he wants to. Not even the clock winding down can shake his composure.
Fox has always been a good player, averaging over 20 points per game in all of the past four seasons, but now his efforts finally lead to wins and success for the Kings. At the same time, he is now truly living up to the high expectations that come with being a top-five draft pick in the NBA.
After making his first All-Star appearance, being named All-NBA third team for the first time in his career, winning the first-ever Clutch Player of the Year award, and finally bringing playoff basketball back to Sacramento, Fox is now a true franchise player.
This has not just happened, however. Fox worked very hard to become a better shooter and defender last season, and it showed. His shooting percentages went up all over the court, and he showed great energy on the defensive end, taking on tough challenges and hustling to create stops.
Now, it seems that there is even more to come.
Kings speak highly about De’Aaron Fox
During Kings’ media day, Coach Mike Brown and most players had high praise for Fox. They all marveled at his work ethic and growth as a leader.
Over the summer, Fox took it upon himself to work out with youngster Keegan Murray almost every day and to become the team’s vocal leader. He also makes sure to back up the talk with actions, however.
“He’s a leader that leads by example,” Keegan Murray told reporters on media day earlier this week.
For Kings fans, that should be incredibly exciting. When a team’s best player works relentlessly to improve and installs the same mindset in their teammates, it builds the foundation for a winning culture. Given the big goals some Kings set for the near future, that is crucial.
Fox himself mentioned that the biggest step to take for him this season is consistency on both ends of the floor, eliminating all sorts of slumps that players tend to go through. Other Kings, however, seem to see his dedication and commitment off the court as the catalyst for greatness.
When asked about Fox, new Kings player Sasha Vezenkov told reporters, “To practice with the young guys, to talk to them, that’s the difference. All good players can be All-Stars. You can work for it, but to be the same person as when you started, to help others out, to care about the team more than you care about yourself is really the key.”
Mike Brown expects Fox to improve further
Fox is entering his seventh pro season and seems ready to climb all the way to the top of the basketball world with this Kings squad. Having seen what the team can do and using their playoff loss to the Golden State Warriors as extra motivation, he believes the Kings can have continued success.
For that to happen, Fox needs to lead the team in every aspect of the game. While the addition of Domantas Sabonis was the basis for the Kings’ high-scoring offense, the team will go as far as their All-Star guard takes them. If he can continue to grow, that could be very far.
“He is just scratching the surface of who he can be as a player, which is scary,” Mike Brown said about Fox.
Scary is the right word here. Teams already struggled to contain Fox last season when he had his mind set on scoring. Now, imagine what he could look like in the future if this is just scratching the surface.
If Coach Brown is correct, the league better watch out for Fox and the Kings this season and beyond because they will make plenty of noise in the West.