Fox insists Kings still West contenders after deadline chaos


The Kings have been the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference for over a month now, but it’s no secret how quickly things can change after the NBA All-Star break. 

The blockbuster moves made ahead of the trade deadline really shook things up in the wild, wild West. Kevin Durant joined Devin Booker and Chris Paul in the desert with the Phoenix Suns. There’s a new duo in Dallas in Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving. The Los Angeles Lakers made moves that finally solved their Russell Westbrook conundrum. 

Still, De’Aaron Fox believes the conference is wide open for the Kings, and he remains confident in his squad and how it stacks up against other teams in the crowded standings.

“Obviously, with the moves that teams made at the deadline, it increases the difficulty of that,” Fox told reporters Saturday at All-Star weekend (h/t FOX40’s Sean Cunningham). “For us, I think we just need to try to continue to work on ourselves and worry about ourselves.

“Offensively, we know what we can do, but if we can string it together defensively, I think we can definitely do something special.”  

That’s been the goal ever since Mike Brown stepped foot in Sacramento after being hired as the Kings' new head coach: Defense, defense, defense. 


The impact that the defensive-minded, championship-caliber coach has had on this Kings team was almost immediate. They started the season off 0-4, but Brown’s message never changed.

Even while witnessing his players go through spurts of offensive flashes, like rookie Keegan Murray or Fox, one defensive mistake resulted in an automatic timeout and a learning lesson. 

On top of that, Brown knows a thing or two about winning. 

“Mike every other game is like, ‘Man, I didn’t come here to coach and lose in the first round of the playoffs,’ ” Fox said. “So he’s instilling that type of confidence in us and we feel like we can go out and win every game that we step foot on the court.” 

RELATED: Hield praises Fox’s growth, reveals what he misses about Kings

Even though the Kings are eager to make a playoff appearance for the first time in 17 seasons, just getting there isn't the end goal. 

Fox, Brown and the Kings know it won't be easy, but they're ready for the challenge. 

"We know what we need to do to be successful," Fox concluded. 

And they'll have the next two months to prove so.