Kings

What De'Aaron Fox already likes about new Kings coach Luke Walton

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What De'Aaron Fox already likes about new Kings coach Luke Walton

De'Aaron Fox said he is developing a rapport with new Kings coach Luke Walton.

"He's been great," the Sacramento guard said on Fox Sports 1's "Undisputed" on Thursday. "He communicates extremely well. That's one thing he definitely does. He's not gonna yell at people or anything like that."

The 21-year-old said he has already worked out with his new coach "four or five times" this offseason. Those sessions have given Fox a better sense of the expectations Walton has for him in their first season together. 

"He's already let me know what he wants me doing on offense," Fox said on "Undisputed." "Kind of where my shots are gonna come from, and just kind of already getting me ahead of the curve of what to expect next year."

Fox took a big leap in his second NBA season, and was named a finalist for the Most Improved Player award. In his "Undisputed" interview, Fox implied the Kings playing at a faster pace had a lot to do with it. The Kings averaged about eight more possessions in 2018-19 than in Fox's rookie season. In each of the last two years, the Walton-led Los Angeles Lakers ranked in the top five in pace. 

[RELATED: Fox breaks down how Warriors' offense changes without KD]

"I already know the way that he wants to play," Fox said of Walton. "I feel like if I was able to play in that type of environment, or pace offense my first year, I think it definitely would've been a lot different from what happened."

In April, sports broadcaster Kelly Tennant accused Walton of sexually assaulting her in 2014. Those allegations currently are being jointly investigated by the Kings and the NBA. 

NBA rumors: Kings part of plan for 22-team season restart in Orlando

NBA rumors: Kings part of plan for 22-team season restart in Orlando

We're going to Disney World.

That is what more than two-thirds of NBA teams are waking up to Wednesday morning. According to the reporting of both Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN and The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the NBA has a plan in place to recall 22 teams and get the season going again.

The details still are coming in, but reports suggest that 13 Western Conference teams and another nine from the East will fly to Orlando where they will each play eight games. If after the eight games, the eighth seed has a four-game lead, the league will go straight to the postseason. If not, there will be a play-in format to decide who the eighth seed will be.

All of this is music to the Kings' ears. They currently sit in a virtual tie for ninth place in the Western Conference standings, three-and-a-half games behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

If NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s plan is ratified Thursday, as expected, the Kings will be part of a group that will battle it out with a chance to snap their 13-season postseason drought.

A handful of players have been at the Kings practice facility for weeks now, working out under stringent rules. They have yet to be cleared for full contact and still have to play on individual courts.

The rest of the team is scattered across the US and eventually will have to make their way back to Sacramento for a training camp followed by a long stay at the Magic Kingdom.

According to reports, the league is scheduled to start up on July 31 with Game 7 of the NBA Finals taking place on October 12.

[RELATED: Can Holmes and Bagley play together on Kings' frontline?]

In addition to the Kings and 16 teams currently in the postseason picture, the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards will join the festivities as the league attempts to restart during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We will have more on this story as more information becomes available, but it appears that the NBA is on its way back and the Kings are going to be part of the fun.

Kings' Harrison Barnes shares funny origin of 'Black Falcon' nickname

Kings' Harrison Barnes shares funny origin of 'Black Falcon' nickname

If you know Harrison Barnes as "The Black Falcon," the Kings forward is a bit bewildered as to why.

That's what happens when you give yourself a nickname largely as a joke, as Barnes revealed to Howard Beck "The Full 48" podcast last week.

“It was funny, I was a huge Kobe (Bryant) fan, as so many people were, and he was always known as the 'Black Mamba,' " Barnes recalled (H/T Sactown Royalty). (Michael Jordan) was his favorite player, MJ was the Black Cat. So we were in New York my senior year (of high school) getting ready for Elite 24, and I was with (then-ESPN anchors) Mike Hill and Jay Harris, and we were just talking, talking about just different nicknames. We came up with that one, and I was like, 'Oh, okay.' ...

"... So I jokingly said that and when I got to [the University of North Carolina,] like one of my first days on campus, I saw this magazine that was like ‘The Black Falcon’ and it had a picture of me. I was like, 'Oh man, this nickname’s gonna stick for a while,' and it’s been around ever since. I mean, I don’t use it or do much with it, but it’s around.”

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Barnes' nickname was in far more regular rotation during his time with the Warriors, and he told the team website in 2013 he hoped to be nicknamed after an animal a la Bryant and Jordan. The moniker didn't stick around, nor did Barnes stay put with Golden State. He joined the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent in 2016 when the Warriors signed Kevin Durant, and the Mavericks traded Barnes to the Kings ahead of last year's trade deadline.

Sacramento's Twitter account only referred to Barnes as "Black Falcon" once, on the day he officially joined the team.

[RELATED: Barnes wants chance for Kings to make playoffs upon restart]

Barnes also picked up the nickname "The Senator" from Warriors broadcaster Jim Barnett, and he has expressed interest in heading into politics after his playing days are over. Former Warriors teammate asked Andrew Bogut during a Twitter Q&A if "The Black Falcon" moniker would follow him to Capitol Hill.

If the NBA season resumes and the Kings return to the court, the more pressing question is if the nickname will even follow him to Orlando.