The Kings are losing games in bunches, but that shouldn’t dictate how a game is called. In the team’s loss to the Utah Jazz last Saturday, De’Aaron Fox went to the free throw line six despite living in the paint and scoring 30 points. In the same game, Donovan Mitchell got to the stripe 17 times.
In the Kings’ 122-114 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night, Fox was hammered on a breakaway bucket and once again, the officials completely missed what should have been a flagrant foul call against Jae Crowder.
“Oh, you guys saw that?” Fox asked following the game. “We’re not going to get into that. They’ve got immunity by the league, so you can’t say anything. So that is what it is.”
Following the game, Fox tweeted out what the officiating crew told him during the game.
Former Kings big man Jack Cooley even offered his two cents on the situation.
Fox hit the bucket, but was clearly stunned. The Suns raced to the other end and made a fastbreak layup of their own and coach Luke Walton was forced to call a timeout to make sure his star guard was OK.
“I had to call a timeout ... they said they missed it,” Walton said. “I don’t have an answer for you other than that. I saw it. I wasn’t very close to it, but I saw it. I don’t know how that one gets missed.”
As he was walking back to the bench, Fox can be seen discussing the play with the officials, who not only missed the personal, but refused to review the play for a potential flagrant call.
Fox didn’t say the magic words and he didn’t call out the officials this time. He could still earn a fine by the league for what little he did say, but that would border on the ridiculous.
Fox’s style of play and frenetic pace makes it hard to officiate him, but the fact that he scores the majority of his points amongst the trees in the lane should garner more than the 7.1 attempts at the line he gets this season.
The Kings will likely send the tape to the NBA and it’s hard to see how they can view the play and not see a dangerous and excessive action by Crowder that could have caused bodily harm.
Then again, the league didn’t find Jonas Valanciunas pulling Chimezie Metu off the rim and breaking his wrist excessive earlier in the season, so maybe this will fall under the same heading.
Fox isn't a player that argues with officials all game long, but at some point, he has to stand up for himself. If that costs him a few dollars, it might be worth it in the long run.