Kings

De'Aaron Fox showing his brash, unapologetic personality in Year 3

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USATSI

De'Aaron Fox showing his brash, unapologetic personality in Year 3

SACRAMENTO -- De’Aaron Fox broke the internet with his post-practice comments earlier this week regarding whether he would have stayed at the University of Kentucky longer if he was getting paid.

“F--- no, what?” the 21-year-old said with a smile as cameras were rolling. “Man, I’ll tell you this - if I was at Kentucky and we were able to get paid, I still would have left after a year.”

The debate on whether college athletes should receive payment for their services is heating up after California Governor Gavin Newson signed a bill in late September that would allow NCAA players to sign with agents and seek out endorsement deals without being ruled inelligble.

It’s a hot topic of discussion that was thrown out to Fox during a standard media scrum and his response still is going viral two days later.

Outside of the f-bomb, which Fox has been known to drop here and there while the cameras are on, the answer, as well as the delivery, show a developing side of the Kings’ young point guard.

“I’m just trying to get into that leadership role, still learning it, just being able to speak up and be a vocal leader on the court,” Fox told NBC Sports California on Thursday morning. “With the media, I think I’m just being myself, that’s all it really is.”

Fox is funny and quick-witted. He’s also cocky and sometimes lacks a filter. More than anything else, he’s straightforward and honest with his answers, even if that gets him in a little bit of hot water.

Win or lose, Fox is known to wait for the media after every game. He doesn’t shy away from the bright lights, even when he knows the questions might be unpleasant.

Drafted as a 19-year-old, he’s growing up in the fishbowl that is the NBA. All eyes are on him, especially as he continues to show improvement and develop into a franchise cornerstone.

“I’m not going to say anything that’s too controversial or disrespectful or anything, but I just like being myself - funny person, lighthearted, I just like to have fun, I like to enjoy my time, that’s really all that is,” Fox said.

Entering his third NBA season, Fox is hoping to see another substantial jump in his production. After posting 17.3 points and 7.3 assists per game last season, another leap forward could elevate him to elite status.

[RELATED: Why Kings' Hield won't be attempting Harden-esque shots]

Despite his age, Fox quickly has become the face of the Kings’ franchise. While he might not always say things exactly the way the team would hope, he’s charismatic and candid. He’s also very direct with his teammates and he’s developing into more than just the team’s point guard.

“Being a leader, especially in this game, is more than being just one of the best basketball players on the team or on the court,” Fox said. “I think that’s something I’m still learning. It’s always going to be a process, even for vets. I know I have time and I feel like it’s coming.”

It’s hard not to like Fox and his honest responses. Media members hope he stays exactly the way he is. No clichés. No holding back. Even if that means having to sensor out a profane word or two every now and then.

Kings unveil new 'City Edition' uniforms with red as primary color

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USATSI

Kings unveil new 'City Edition' uniforms with red as primary color

The Kings are having a lot of fun this season and it starts with what's happening on the court.

Yes, the team is creeping back toward the .500 mark and the court itself has received a retro look with the red and blue color scheme on their "Classic Court." Now, the team has alternate uniforms that will match with red as the primary color to compliment the floor.

The team tweeted out an awesome promotional video highlighting each of the colored jerseys they've sported over the years from purple to blue to gold and crispy whites:

The new Nike City Edition uniforms will feature red, baby blue, white and gray as the colors with "Sactown" written across the chest. This will be the first time in Kings history to have red as the primary. 

“The City Edition uniforms were made to represent the Proud Past and Proud Future of our Kings here in Sacramento,” Kings president of business operations John Rinehart said on their website. “With red as the primary color, they represent that passion and energy that has echoed through our arena and helps celebrate the team’s 35th year in Sactown.”

And what do fans think?

One told NBC Sports California there is only one color they think of when it comes to the Kings.

"Purple is the best," he said. "The answer is always purple."

Carmichael Dave, a staple among Sacramento sports and a true Kings fan, admitted change with something as uniforms could be off-putting, and the colors for a team "should be sacred." But he hated the baby blues so let's just get that out of the way right now.

"As long as the babies are gone I’m OK," he said to NBC Sports California. "Red has never been anything for us but trim. And if the fans had their say, though there isn’t anything unanimous, it would be purple, black, Royal blue, and white. That's it -- maybe red as trim."

Dave added these are the least popular alternate jerseys, since "the horrid gold ones."

[RELATED: How Kings Serbian connections make Bogdan feel at home]

Glancing at some of the responses to the original tweet it appears many are torn on the colors. But for now, we can confirm Marvin Bagley pulls off the uni well:

Here's a schedule for when the Kings plan to sport the new uniforms. 

Kings' accumulated depth paying dividends as team creeps back to .500

Kings' accumulated depth paying dividends as team creeps back to .500

SACRAMENTO -- Coming out of a busy summer of additions, the Kings looked like one of the deeper teams in the Western Conference. 13 games into the 2019-20 season, that depth is paying dividends and Sacramento is scrambling back towards the .500 mark.

In a 120-116 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday evening, head coach Luke Walton’s crew almost blew a 26-point lead, but it somehow managed to pull together and win as a team in the final minute.

“That’s what Luke says -- a lot of teams, they lose these games and then maybe they learn,” Bogdan Bogdanovic said. “We are lucky enough to learn and smart enough to learn from this game and get a win.”

Players stepping up is a trend in Sacramento, and it’s a big reason the team has bounced back after a brutal 0-5 start.

When Marvin Bagley broke his right thumb on opening night, Nemanja Bjelica stepped back into a starting role and he has flourished. When Dewayne Dedmon struggled with his shot, Richaun Holmes took over the starting center job, and he is making a huge difference for the Kings. And after De’Aaron Fox severely sprained his ankle, Cory Joseph has come to the rescue.

Balancing out the roster once everyone is healthy and playing to their potential won’t be easy for Walton, but on Tuesday night at Golden 1 Center, his team picked up its sixth win in eight games and did it with a rotation that has constantly been in flux.

With Buddy Hield under the weather and missing his 3-point attempts, Bogdanovic was the star of the evening. The reserve shooting guard notched a career-high 31 points on 7-of-9 shooting from long range to lead all scorers.

The seven makes from distance also a career-high for Bogdanovic, but he wasn’t the only difference-maker for the Kings.

“Bogi is crazy, he’s good,” Hield said of Bogdanovic. “You never know who’s going to go on a run. It could be Bjeli, it could be me, it could be Bogi. Those are guys that can hurt you at any second.”

Joseph hasn’t looked for his own shot since taking over for Fox at point guard, but he has played spectacular defense and managed the game like a pro against Phoenix.

In his ninth NBA season and first in Sacramento, the veteran guard set a new personal best with 14 assists to go with six points, five rebounds and just two turnovers in 39 minutes of action.

“Obviously we have a couple of guys down, which is unfortunate,” Joseph said. “It’s the next man up mentality. Everybody that stepped up played good.”

After playing with the Suns a season ago, Holmes looked like a man possessed. He attacked a depleted Phoenix front line, scoring 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting to go with a career-high 15 rebounds.

“Every time I’ve coached against him, he’s killed us.” Walton said of his experience with Holmes before this season. “But he’s never really played major minutes, at least from what I’ve seen. We were excited to get him. He’s been as solid and steady as anyone that we’ve had on our team.”

Bjelica continued his strong play for the Kings as well. The 31-year-old veteran finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, a block and a steal. His 28-foot 3-pointer with 1:42 remaining in the fourth momentarily helped stem the tide and put the Kings back up by 12.

“He's able to stretch the floor so we've got more of a lane when I'm going down the lane on the rolls," Holmes said of Bjelica. "He can pass the ball, he can play-make, he can just do so many different things. He's very important to this team.”

The Kings still are developing an identity, but they were solid on defense again and there always seems to be someone new stepping up to help carry the load.

[RELATED: How Kings' Serbian connections help make Bogi feel at home]

“That’s what’s so fun about us -- we enjoy everybody’s success and we love that about everybody,” Hield added. “We love to share the ball, we love to play together. That’s great for us and that’s going to help us keep growing and help us win ball games down the stretch.”

Sacramento flies out to New York on Wednesday afternoon in preparation for a Friday matchup with the Brooklyn Nets. The Kings will play a tough four-game road trip heading into Thanksgiving, but after a rough start to the season, they seem to be back on the right track.

Injury Note

After posting a career-high in scoring, Bogdanovic was forced to leave the game with 1:22 remaining. Following the win, Bogdanovic said he had a cramp in his left hamstring and thought that he would be okay for Friday's game against the Nets. We will have an update on his hamstring as more information becomes available.