Fox calls for more Domas appreciation after Kings’ win vs. Wizards

NBC Sports Bay Area

The Kings’ offense erupted for a season-high 143 points in their win over the Washington Wizards on Monday night at Golden 1 Center, and everyone seemed to get a piece of the pie for Sacramento.

But while De’Aaron Fox impressed with a game-high 30 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field, the star point guard believes his teammate Domantas Sabonis deserves more credit after posting his third triple-double of the 2023-24 NBA season in the victory.

“Everything he does for us [is underappreciated], with just being able to grab a rebound and push it, or even sometimes we grab a rebound and we’re able to outlet it to him,” Fox told reporters after the Kings’ 143-131 win. “There aren’t many people that have ever been able to do that at that size, and obviously he’s such a focal point of our offense, [whether] he has the ball, he’s screening and they don’t want to switch onto him, there are just so many things that he does for us.

“And then just defensively, he’s been better for us this year, and what he does on the glass offensively and defensively, there’s just so much that he does on the court that I feel like doesn’t get appreciated enough or people don’t realize it. I don’t know how you don’t realize it, but maybe it’s just people don’t appreciate what he does enough.”

After flirting with triple-doubles across the Kings’ recent stretch of games, Sabonis finally picked one up Monday. The All-Star center tallied 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field with one 3-pointer, grabbed 13 rebounds and had 12 assists on the night. With 17 triple-doubles since joining Sacramento at the 2022 NBA trade deadline, Sabonis holds the franchise record for the most ever in a Kings uniform.

On “Kings Postgame Live,” Sabonis told NBC Sports California’s Deuce Mason and Mike Bibby how his unselfish mindset leads to plenty of dimes.

“That’s part of our game,” Sabonis said. “Everyone touches the ball, everyone’s happy, good vibes in the locker room, and, you know, it’s a long season and that’s all you want.”

Kings coach Mike Brown told reporters after the game that with Sabonis “playing the right way,” his third triple-double of the season was bound to come eventually — and he used a LeBron James story to prove his point.

“When I coached LeBron back in Cleveland, everybody used to get on him about taking the last shot, and dude just played the right way,” Brown said. “If he created a double team and he saw a teammate wide open, he swung it to him for a wide-open catch-and-shoot shot.

“That’s the right play, an he obviously has the green light to do what he wants to do. Same with Domas. But at the end of the day, Domas is just going to play the right way, and him playing the right way with the people that we have on this team, he can fall into a triple-double.”

Sabonis might not receive the national recognition he deserves, but the Kings more than understand his worth. And Fox isn’t the only one who thinks so. After the game, his wife Recee shared her thoughts on the Kings big man.

For Brown, sentiments like Fox and Recee’s show just how selfless the Kings are and how tight the team is as a unit, families and all.

“It’s huge,” Brown said. “This group’s connected — everybody wants everybody to have success, and when you see stuff like that, when you hear stuff like that, it’s awesome because that is not something that you hear a lot or you see a lot around the NBA … For somebody of Recee’s level, caliber to be able to say that publicly and mean it , to me it’s no surprise.

“It just speaks volumes of who she is as a person, who Fox is and that they believe in this team and how connected we are as a group.”

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