James Ham

De'Aaron Fox calls out Laura Ingraham's 'shut up and dribble' hypocrisy

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USATSI

De'Aaron Fox calls out Laura Ingraham's 'shut up and dribble' hypocrisy

Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, as he has done with more frequency as of late, turned to social media Thursday to voice his opinion about racial injustice in America.

The Kings’ young star retweeted a video from Complex Sports, which strings together two separate segments from Laura Ingraham's show on Fox News.

The first segment is a clip from 2018, when Ingraham told NBA superstars LeBron James and Kevin Durant to “shut up and dribble,” admonishing them for criticizing President Donald Trump.

In the second segment, she defends Saints quarterback Drew Brees for his comments made Wednesday to Yahoo Finance.

Fox clearly didn’t like the double standard.

“Is anybody surprised??? Black basketball players “shut up and dribble”

White football player who agrees with her “he’s allowed to have his view” & “this is beyond football” and it’s so natural to them,” Fox commented.

James also responded to Ingraham.

Brees has been scrutinized over the last two days for his comments regarding kneeling during the national anthem. 

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said during the interview.

Brees’ statements have caused an outpouring of responses, including an emotional video posted by his teammate, Malcolm Jenkins.

[RELATED: Poole: Brees reveals that he's part of problem, not solution]

Like many people, Fox has become more active over the last week on social media regarding racial injustice as protests rage worldwide after George Floyd's tragic death while in Minneapolis police custody. He’s finding his voice in a critical time in history.

Kings in NBA playoff picture, but tough schedule lies ahead in restart

Kings in NBA playoff picture, but tough schedule lies ahead in restart

The format is set. The NBA is returning. How will all of this play out for the Sacramento Kings?

What we now know is that every team invited to Orlando will play an eight-game schedule that according to reports, is based directly off their remaining schedule prior to the league's coronavirus suspension.

If the NBA decides to restart from where the season left off, the Kings' schedule is manageable. Keep in mind that every team invited to the tournament is either a playoff team or one on the fringe.

Sacramento will miss out on contests against the Hawks, Cavs (two times), T-Wolves and Warriors. They also won’t have to face the Clippers, Nuggets and Lakers twice.

Here is a quick look at the games on the docket for the Kings, if the league follows the pre-existing remaining schedule:

New Orleans Pelicans

The Kings were amped up to play the Pelicans on March 11. So much so that they remained on the court while New Orleans sat in their locker room at Golden 1 Center. They’ll get their shot at Zion Williamson and Co. right off the bat, which might determine the fate of both of these teams.

Season series: 0-1

Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn is an interesting team. They play extremely hard every night and they have plenty of star talent, but Kevin Durant isn’t coming back from his Achilles injury to play in a shortened season and it’s unlikely that Kyrie Irving (shoulder) returns either. Spencer Dinwiddie has played well in Irving’s absence, but this is a must-win for the Kings if they hope to make it to the play-in game.

Season series: 0-1

[RELATED: NBA return: Five things to watch as Kings get invite to Orlando restart]

Dallas Mavericks

The ghost of draft picks past. Sacramento will draw Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks as their third game of the restart. Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis were finding a rhythm when the shutdown hit, although Dallas was just 4-4 over their previous eight games.

Season series: 1-2

Houston Rockets

On Dec. 8 the Kings walked into Dallas and stunned the Mavericks. The next night, they did the same thing to the Houston Rockets. Sacramento could use a repeat of that two-game stretch. The Rockets are the best team the Kings face in their eight-game schedule. Plan on a hundred combined 3-point shots between the two clubs.

Season series: 1-1

Orlando Magic

Does home court advantage matter when there are no fans? We’ll find out as the Magic hosts all 22 teams. This is a tough team to figure out. They have talent and length, but at 30-35, they have the worst record of any team the Kings will face. Jonathan Isaac was ruled out for the rest of the season before the shutdown, but there is a shot he returns with the extra time added on.

Season series: 0-1

Pelicans

Zion. Lonzo Ball. Brandon Ingram. Jrue Holiday. Tiebreakers at stake. Both of the games against New Orleans are paramount to the Kings’ chances. The Pelicans will get JJ Redick back from his hamstring injury, which adds to the difficulty.

Season series: 0-1

Indiana Pacers

The last time the Kings played Indy, De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley just were coming off of injuries and the Pacers took advantage. Indy is tough and Victor Olidipo getting an additional four months to completely recover from injury makes them even more difficult. Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren all give the Kings fits, which makes this one of the more difficult games on the schedule.

Season series: 0-1

San Antonio Spurs

If the Kings and Spurs still are in the hunt at this point in the schedule, there is a chance that this game could pit a team with a 13-year playoff drought against a franchise trying to preserve a streak of 22 straight seasons in the postseason. A lot has to happen for this game to have meaning, but you never know which teams come to Orlando ready to compete and which teams wilt under the pressure.

Season series: 1-1

Sacramento is just 3-9 against this group, but that means very little when you factor in a four-month layoff. This race to the finish likely will be decided by who walks into the gym focused and ready to play from game one.

If the Kings have a shot, they need somehow to overtake the Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers in the standings, while remaining within 3.5 games of the Grizzlies and ahead of both the Spurs and the Suns.

It’s complicated and there still is a chance the NBA adjusts the Kings’ schedule slightly, but the Kings are in the running.

NBA return: Five things to watch as Kings get invite to Orlando restart

NBA return: Five things to watch as Kings get invite to Orlando restart

The NBA is set to return and the Kings have a golden ticket to the festivities.

On Thursday, the league voted overwhelmingly to return to action under Commissioner Adam Silver’s 22-team format. After a modified training camp and a cross-country flight to Orlando, beginning July 31, the Kings will have just eight games to prove they are worthy of joining the league’s elite in the postseason.

Sacramento is just three and a half games off the pace of the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, but they have plenty of company. There is no margin of error if the Kings are going to track down Ja Morant and Co. and earn a seat in the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons.

In case you forgot, the Kings currently sit at 28-36 on the season, and had just rattled off a 13-7 mark over their previous 20 games. They’ll have to outlast a field that includes the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns if they hope to earn a shot at either an eighth seed or play-in opportunity as a ninth seed.

The rules are complicated, but the end result is simple. Win or go home.

Here are five keys for the Kings as they jump back into the fray in the craziest season in NBA history.

Put the ball in Fox’s hands

De’Aaron Fox is taking huge strides in his third NBA season, but you can see that there is more he can do. The Kings need to fully hand the reins over to the 22-year-old and see if he can take another leap in production.

An ankle injury cost Fox 25 games early in the season, but beginning Jan. 1, the Kings’ starting point guard put on a show. In his final 29 games before the shutdown, Fox was averaging 22.3 points, 6.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game.

There still is plenty of room for growth from Fox, especially as a 3-point shooter. But he’s getting to the free throw line 6.8 times per game and he’s figuring out how to take over a game in the fourth quarter.

When the season went on hiatus, Fox was playing the best basketball of his career. The Kings need to see if he’s ready to take his game even further.

Run

With Fox running the show, the team has no excuse for not pushing the tempo. After leading the league in pace last season, coach Luke Walton’s squad was 25th in the league when everything came to a screeching halt.

With only eight games to work with, the Kings need to come into camp in incredible shape, run wind sprints after every practice session and run teams off the court when the ball tips off. They have the personnel, but they have to get back to what made them so successful last year.

Walton spent a lot of the season trying to institute new systems on both ends of the court. With so little time to prepare for the restart, he needs to play to his team’s strengths and pull off any and all restrictions.

Be a star in your role

One of the reasons the San Antonio Spurs are the gold standard of professional sports is due to their players’ understanding of their role and how they can impact winning. The Kings have plenty of players on their first contracts, which often means that they have yet to establish their place in the league.

In a condensed eight-game window, it is imperative that every player who steps on the floor does so with purpose. Is Buddy Hield happy that he’s coming off the bench? No, but this isn’t the time for that debate. Who plays the minutes at a crowded center position? That shouldn’t matter as long as everyone is playing to their strengths.

Whichever team can pull together the fastest has a huge advantage in the chase for the eight seed. The Kings haven’t always been on the same page this season, but they were playing excellent basketball when the pandemic hit.

If they can buy-in and play as a singular unit, the Kings have as good a chance as anyone to get a shot at a play-in series.

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Let it fly

Walton stunned a few people early in the season when he said that he would like to see his team shoot 35 3-pointers per game. When the league was suspended, the Kings were averaging 34.7 triples per game and were 10th in the league in 3-point percentage, hitting 36.4 percent.

Sacramento is packed with shooters at almost every spot on the floor. They have six players shooting 35 percent or better from long range, including a team-leading 42.4 percent from forward Nemanja Bjelica.

If Sacramento can turn up the pace and get a few extra shot attempts per game, a good portion of those extra looks should come from deep.

[RELATED: Kings' Barnes shares funny origin of 'Black Falcon' nickname]

The Marvin Bagley situation

When last we checked in with head coach Luke Walton, second-year big man Marvin Bagley had been cleared to return to action after missing most of the season with thumb and foot issues. That doesn’t mean the team is ready to throw him into the mix.

Bagley is one of the cornerstones of the franchise, but after playing just 13 games, he needs time to integrate back into the rotation. Sacramento could definitely use his rebounding and scoring ability in the post, but he’ll need to turn heads in training camp and learn the additional nuances to the schemes in place if he hopes to steal some time.

If the Kings have a shot, they need a tight eight- or nine-man rotation. In a normal situation, Bagley would be a huge part of that group, but normal left a long time ago.