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Walton ready to push fellow coaches for Fox's All-Star bid

NBC Sports

Making an NBA All-Star team is a difficult task. In the second round of fan voting, Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox still didn’t crack the Western Conference's top 10.

Warriors star Klay Thompson, who hasn’t played since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, currently is eighth in voting. Alex Caruso, who is averaging 5.5 points per game this season for the Los Angeles Lakers, is 10th.

If Fox fails to get the fan vote, which looks like a forgone conclusion at this point, he can still make the squad as part of the coaches vote. That might take some quiet conversations between Sacramento coach Luke Walton and some of his friends.

“Listen, De’Aaron is having a heck of a year and yes, I’ll be campaigning for him,” Walton said with a smile. “I’ll be campaigning for De’Aaron and if he doesn’t get selected, he gets some extra rest and gets to stay home.”

Fox is averaging 23.4 points and 6.7 assists in a career-high 33.4 minutes per game for Walton’s squad. In February, he’s posting 31.6 points and 9.0 assists while playing 38.2 minutes per night.

“He’s having a heck of a season right now, and it’s good that he’s in those talks,” Walton said.

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Fox has already his opinion on the subject. While he would go if he makes the squad, the concept of a promotional exhibition game during a global pandemic isn’t his favorite idea.


"I’m going to be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid," Fox said earlier this month. "If we have to wear masks and do all this for a regular game, what’s the point of bringing the All-Star Game back?"

Walton will do his part. Fox will do his. In the end, both seemed focused on what really matters: The Kings and their push to end the franchise’s 14-year playoff drought.