Kings hold players-only meeting after 'embarrassing' loss


The Kings are searching for any answers possible right now. Following what interim head coach Alvin Gentry called an "embarrassing" 124-101 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Monday, Sacramento held a players-only meeting that Gentry believes is a good sign, but won't fix everything. 

The Kings now have lost three straight games, and their 11-17 record has them as the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference. 

After they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-103 on Saturday, Gentry was looking for his squad to play with a sense of urgency and get off to a strong start in Toronto. That wasn't the case. The Kings were down 30-22 after the first quarter and went into halftime down 70-55 after allowing 40 second-quarter points. 

Sacramento at one point was trailing by 31 points. 

De'Aaron Fox, who had a game-high 29 points but also was a game-low minus-18 in plus-minus, says this is about much more than just effort for the Kings. He also didn't get much help in the loss. Three of the Kings' five starters didn't reach double-figures in scoring, and all but two of the Raptors' 11 players who found time scored at least 10 points.

"It's about being sharp," Fox said. "Everything that you do. Obviously with that second group that they had ... Toronto, there's no one out there that's just gonna go get a bucket. But everything they do is quick, sharp, to the point. They know exactly what they need to do and they're running s--t to a T. 


"There's not too many teams that are running complicated stuff. S--t's not a thing. Most people have a coach from a similar coaching staff and they copy whatever coach they were under and everybody's running the same s--t. So when we're out there it's just about being sharp."

The Kings fired Luke Walton on Nov. 21, naming Gentry his interim replacement. They were 6-11 this season under Walton and now are 5-6 with Gentry running the show.

While their record does look better under Gentry, they also have allowed an average of 122 points in their previous five losses. He refuses to blame anyone other than himself.

"The worst thing that you can possibly do is say I've done all I can and then blame it on the players," Gentry said. "I have not done all I can. I've got to reach in somewhere and find something that can be changed that's going to change this team. 

"I'm not a quitter, like I said, and I don't think we have guys in there that are quitters. We just got to figure out something that's going to work for us." 

Fox isn't a quitter but he certainly is sick of losing. He's in his fifth season with the Kings, and none have been a winning season so far. 

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"I hadn't lost until I got here," Fox said. "First 18 years of life, 19 years of life, every step that I played basketball I was winning something. I don't know how you do that, make it to the NBA and now you just don't care about winning. Everybody talks about how you get paid -- blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. 

"Nobody likes to lose, regardless of what level you're on. Rather if you're getting paid or playing for free. Nobody likes to lose ... obviously everybody wants to win."

The Kings' next chance at a win is Wednesday in Sacramento against the Washington Wizards.