Despite the firing of head coach Luke Walton, the Sacramento Kings have not looked any better in recent games. And they suffered yet another setback, this time, losing to the Toronto Raptors in embarrassing fashion. Tensions are running high among the Sacramento squad, and De'Aaron Fox isn't holding back on anyone, not even himself.
After the game, De'Aaron Fox spoke about their loss to the Raptors. He seemed to be incredibly frustrated, not just with himself, but with his teammates, and the general situation around the Sacramento Kings franchise, especially after the firing of Luke Walton.
He spoke in great detail about the difference between playing hard and playing sharp. In his explicit tirade, Fox suggested that his team was playing hard, but they weren't being sharp, which caused the team to lose to the Raptors in the way that they did last night.
“It’s not about just playing hard. There’s not too many people in this world who can be a lazy motherf*cker and make it to the NBA. Everybody played hard to get here, everybody plays hard when they are here. It’s just about being sharp. Everything that you do, obviously with that second group that they have, Toronto, there’s no one out there that is just going to go out there and 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 sh*t to a T. There’s not too many teams in this league that are running complicated stuff. It’s just not a thing. Most people have a coach from a similar coaching staff and they copy whatever coach that they were under and everybody is running the same sh*t. So when we’re out there, it’s just about being sharp. Now, if it’s a loose ball, 50-50 ball sh*t like that then yeah, it’s about playing hard, but when you are out there, and coverages, your coverage is about being sharp. So when we are out there running a play, obviously you want to run the play fast and get into your sh*t, but it’s not about doing the play hard, it’s about doing it sharp. So, if the timing is off, that’s not about playing hard. That’s about being sharp. If we f*ck up a coverage where you’re not supposed to switch and you switch, or vice versa, whatever it may be, it’s not about playing hard, it’s about playing sharp. You’re not giving up 130 because you’re not playing hard.”
Fox is clearly frustrated with the way things have been going with the franchise, especially since the departure of Luke Walton. While they were not wildly successful without Walton, there has been a belief among many in the NBA community that Walton became a scapegoat for the Kings' general failures.
The Kings have an exciting young core right now, with Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and even Marvin Bagley III, who isn't going anywhere soon. But the biggest problem for the Kings over the years has been their inability to capitalize on their young core and actually become a solid performing team again.