De'Aaron Fox spoke to the media Tuesday and was asked about his opinion on head coach Luke Walton and the team retaining him.
Fox first addressed a question about how people who might be disappointed Walton is back. He mentioned that it takes time to build and implied that if the two nine-game winning streaks had gone differently everything this season would have changed.
"It takes time to build as a team, as players, as a coach, as a GM, but with us sticking together like we said, if you cut those nine-game losing streaks into 3-6, or hell, even 2-7, you know we're in an entirely different position and that's already being built upon from where we were last year to where we are this year. So, I think just little minor things for us as a team and what we're doing on the court definitely will change the trajectory of this team. It's little things, but people can say whatever they want, but we know how we feel about each other inside this organization, and we know what we should be able to do."
He then addressed what has cultivated their relationship: 1 being that he played in the NBA and 2, that he is a good communicator.
"For one, he's someone who has played the game, so he understands everything the players are going through and two, what they need to continue to do to get better. He's won a championship; he's played at that level. He's played at the highest level you could possibly play at. So, he understands the players and if something needs to be done, he can actually go out there and show you what needs to be done so I think he's continued to help me grow as a player individually as a playmaker, what I need to do defensively, little things. Usually, you would have like vets like we had Vince [Carter], Z-Bo [Zach Randolph], or George [Hill], they can show you things to help you get better, get better through a screen, or getting better off ball or what you need to do. Since he's been able to play those are things that some coaches aren't really able to do, and he's able to do those things that can really help you in those smaller areas. And then he's a great communicator, he's someone that communicates all the time whether that's on the court or off the court so that's kind of how we really built our relationship."
Fox also discussed what he talked to general manager Monte McNair about in his exit interview. He said they spoke about continuing to grow as a shooter and getting better defensively, "starting with me and Ty [Tyrese Haliburton] on the ball. We both have to be better defensively on that end next year and if we're good as a tandem, as a backcourt defensively then I think it will uplift our team and what we're doing defensively."
Fox also said he feels a lot better than he did a few weeks ago in terms of his positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Great quote as the header. Sounds like an episode from The Bachelor.
If you feel so great about each other why don’t you play better defense. Doing so might keep your best buddy from getting fired.
I have no doubt Walton is a good communicator and can demonstrate things on the court. As Fox said, he was a pro and played on championship teams. But good NBA coaching requires more than that. It requires the coach to set a high standard, hold players accountable (and discipline them if necessary), and strategize both before and during the game. There is no evidence, from what we see on the court, that Walton can competently do those things. It’s clear the players LIKE him, but it’s also clear he does not get the best out of them. Good coaches don’t let their teams go 0-9 twice in one season without tearing somebody apart. Also, good coaches don’t let their teams go 0-9 twice in one season, period.
I remember plenty of post game press conferences where Malone ripped the Kings for getting blown out. I remember once he said something like “I guess we gotta just get some better players, because right now we’re a bad basketball team.” But all the players respected the heck out of him and wanted to play for him. Hell, Rudy Gay signed a contract with the Kings partly because he thought Malone was going to be his coach the next few seasons.
A coach can’t just be all giddy and nice to the players. He has to call them out if they’re doing something they shouldn’t and hold them accountable. It’s one of the many ways the players can get better as a team, not just for individual stat-stuffing.
I don’t like Walton and generally what you say is probably true…but the Kings also had 2-3 very extended nice winning streaks/stretches of wins as well.
Popovich first season had 4 different 6 game losing streaks…Phil Jackson 2007 had a 6 and 7 game losing streak in same season. Sure you can find such streaks in probably all great coaches careers. Losing streaks happen for variety of potential reasons…even to good coaches
Problem is Luke doesn’t have much to counter those low points, minus the Golden State run. Doesn’t absolve Walton of his faults.
I downvoted this for the simple fact that you compared a POS like Walton to Pop. That’s f’n crazy man.
Walton is a scrub who will never be a HC again in the NBA once he is eventually fired, Pop is the best coach ever.
Thanks for the heads up and lack of nuance in reading comprehension. I was definitely indicating that Walton was on a similar career path. Yeah they aren’t on the same tier of coach or anywhere close to it…no shit man
My point was simply that losing streaks happen and I don’t think they necessarily in itself mean a coach is terrible, depending on numerous factors. It obviously is a factor though.
There are lots of other factors as Amateur Nerd pointed out and issues with Walton. I don’t disagree with that or most of the points….just that sustained losing streaks can happen to good coaches too, which was alluded to previously that they do not. That’s all.
Losing streaks are absolutely part of the bargain when you sign up to coach a bad basketball team. But not only did Luke captain the leaky ship to two 9-loss streaks in the same shortened season, the way those streaks went down was an indictment of his coaching. There were several losses in those streaks, particularly the second one, where the team flat-out did not play hard and did not compete. That is 100% on the coach to either prevent from happening in the first place, or to discipline and correct the players involved after the fact. Neither happened. There is no accountability coming from Walton to the players, only from the players to each other–and the players are mostly young- and mid-20somethings still learning how to think like mature adults. They need a mature adult to set them straight from time to time, and Walton isn’t it.
Thumbs up, don’t disagree. Just was stating that losing streaks happen to good coaches as well…not that Walton falls in that category.
Good coaches don’t let Buddy play point guard.
They are kids who definitely enjoy not being paddled for screwing up at their jobs. I guess friendship is more important then accountability as that’s been proven now for 2 years. I hope fans wise up and absolutely refuse to spend their money on this dumpster fire franchise. Do you think the kids at the Kangz Daycare will get the message when attendance drops to zero ?
So I may be reading too much into this. But his comments send a chill down my spine. We were so close if the 0-9 stretches had just been 2-7 we would be in a whole other position.
Mr. Fox you have been a pleasure to watch but that is some bullshit and you should know it as a competitor.
But that thinking isn’t your fault you’re just now drinking the coolaid that exists inside that building. We have all heard it echoed many times by the little chap.
For those of you sticking around for next season get ready for more of the same, with the exception of possibly losing Holmes they are bringing it back exactly as you see it today.
All because someone just knows, not even just knows but feels it deep within him that we are close just a couple games of bad luck away from that last spot.
Exactly. Can you imagine great competitors like Jordan, Kobe, etc.–even Jimmy Butler for a contemporary example–saying some nonsense like that? Even if it’s mathematically true, it betrays a poor competitive mentality. And yes, that is on the coach and organization for cultivating and making those excuses. They may have trained Fox to think like a loser.
Kobe chiming in from the other side:
I will say it and own it proudly. I hate what that man did to the teams I loved over the years. But watching that almost sadistic level of pleasure with the pain inflicted by winning is admirable. I wish one player on the current roster had a tenth of the balls and drive that man did.
I think the closest we saw here was IT.
When did he become so well liked around here? Didn’t he have some allegations against him at one point?
The Kings could have made it to 10th place! Everyone gets a trophy!
Literally what you tell someone when you have no real complements to give them. And then Walton refers to what we need to improve as “execution and whatnot.”
In the words of DMC, “Lord give me strength.”
“You push it, defensively, like they’re competing”….he is such a fool.
Every teacher knows that when it’s time to hand out awards and compliments to students at year’s end, “best effort” and “hardest worker” often go to the kids with poor skills who still manage to try. It’s a recognition of genuine effort, but it’s also a bit condescending, and it’s always transparent. It should be embarrassing for an NBA player to be given that kind of “atta boy” after getting whooped on the court.
Once again, we’re giving out plaudits for elevating our game all the way to the minimum expectation. Playing hard and “competing out there” is just the cost of entry. Or it should be, at least.
I wonder if the coaches of Minny and Detroit told him this after they spanked the Kings in Golden1. I’m skeptical…
I guess that’s the NBA equivalent of “nice try,” which is truly one of the most dismissive things you can say to someone after they’ve failed at something.
What? Lol…This franchise is laying the bullshit on thick! They needed to improve their whatnot all year! WTF is Whatnot?
That seems high. As does Walton.
If players that have never made the playoffs profess their affection for their coach (who is in the rare air of coaches to fail to make the playoffs with LeBron), does it make a sound?
I wonder how many people have been an NBA head coach for 5+ years and never made the playoffs.
Hmmm. Looks like “Slick” Leonard coached the most games without ever making the playoffs (450). Walton is currently 2nd at 390. Hornacek, Lowe, Cousy and Robertson are the only other coaches to last 5 or more seasons without ever making the playoffs.
Fox is the face of the franchise but not a superstar or an all star for that matter. I hope Monte didn’t base his decision to keep Luke based off Fox’ affection for him. Superstars (LeBum, KD, Curry, etc) are consulted regarding coaching decisions, not good players with potential to be stars.
Trade fox. If he is cool with mediocrity then they will never be good. If he’s not he’ll force his way out in 2 years when this team is still floundering.
Even with a good draft pick this teams ceiling is the 10th seed. Which of the Jazz, Suns, Nuggets, clippers, mavs, Blazers lakes, Warriors, Grizzlies and Spurs are going to fall off? Maybe the Spurs but we’ve been saying that for years and hey haven’t.
No way they go over the cap to sign Holmes so lets scratch him. outside of hali and fox there are no desirable contracts or players that can be traded for significant upgrades. They didn’t use the MLE last year and probably won’t again this year.
fox is one of my favorite players but it doesn’t seem like winning is the most important thing to him.
I wouldn’t go that far. I choose to believe winning is the most important thing to him. However, I also think he’s being trained to think that not winning isn’t the end of the world, and that’s a huge problem for his development and maturation as a leader. No truly great player can think that winning is a “nice to have” and still find real success. You don’t need to beat up your teammates in practice when they’re not playing hard enough (like Jordan did), but you do need to tear some new a$$holes after bad losses and throw a shoulder now and then.
I believe he quit on Joerger b/c Joerger was too hard on the team. He endorsed Walton who coached them to the 2nd worst defensive team in history and 2 – 9 game losing streaks. Fool me once…
I don’t want to trade him but if the ceiling is 40 wins with him and the floor is 30 i don’t see the point in continuing on this treadmill. I hate the Hinkie strategy but it’s better than sitting on our hands hoping something will happen. Once he demands a trade they will get little value back.
Now if he wants to play defense, hit free throws and demand more from his teammates then don’t trade him. I’m just going off what I see and hear and it looks and sounds like everyone is just happy be there. Coaches, players, front office aren’t going to hold anyone accountable and it appears that’s the way the players like it.
He may feel differently about it by his 25th birthday. If things go badly next year, and Fox finds himself no longer gruntled, we may get the change we need.
At any rate, his thus-far unwavering support is baffling.
I agree 100%. He cares about video games more than his on-court performance.
I love Fox and I hope he stays a King his entire career, but he is just so wrong on Walton and I don’t really care what he thinks about a loser coach who has no principles or guiding philosophies on the court.
Walton was a POS person before he ever came here, he has never been a good or effective coach and he deserves to be fired.
I don’t have a problem with what fox said about walton. As a player, he should have the staff and player’s backs. I have a problem with McNair’s assessment of Walton.
Agreed. But I’m hoping all these guys aren’t patting each other on the back when the cameras are off. Someone needs to be consistently calling this what it is.
Definitely. Only players I see really getting mad about losing is holmes and tyrese.
IF YOU CUT OUT THOSE TWO 9-GAME LOSING STREAKS….Fox doesn’t seem to give a shit either.
If you cut out all of the bad games they had a GREAT season!
Jesus, Fox sure was generous, especially about Walton’s career as a player.
Fox seems like a really nice person. Only time I’ve seen him kind of mad was early in the season when Elhassan said Ja Morant is who Fox thinks he is. Something to that effect, and even then he didn’t really go in on the guy.
Takes time to build a winner ! Not if you are Atlanta, Knicks , G State, or Phoenix ! Each improved more than 20 games just by adding Free Agents, Trades or Coaching change ! Sorry, Fox but that song will no longer sell in Kingsland !