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Kings’ Bogdan Bogdanovic thinks that De’Aaron Fox’s improved play is a result of not getting selected for Rising Stars Challenge

Bogdan Bogdanovic, De'Aaron Fox

Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Sacramento Kings revealed that De’Aaron Fox might have been fueled by the fact that he wasn’t selected into Rising Stars Challenge last year.

Per Ali Thanawalla of NBCS Sports, Bogdanovic observed a change in Fox right after the All-Star Game when the latter wasn’t selected for the USA Team. It spilled over as the regular season went on:

‘I saw a change in [De’Aaron] after the All-Star game last year after he wasn’t chosen for the USA Team for the [Rising Stars Challenge].

‘I noticed a change in him after he wasn’t selected, and from that moment on, through the season, he’s been a different player.’

Although he wasn’t selected, Fox suited up for the USA Team as a replacement for Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers, who was out due to an injury. He played against teammates Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield, who were both on the World Team. It was definitely a surprise to many that Fox, the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, was snubbed by fans. Ever since stepping foot in the NBA, the University of Kentucky standout has been nothing short of impressive.

His lightning speed has enabled him to play effectively on both sides of the court. From 11.6 points per game and 4.4 assists last season, he’s now bumped it up to 17.9 points per game and 7.3 assists this year. He also averages 1.8 steals per game and has gained a reputation for his defense. It’s safe to say that Fox took the rejected and turned it into fuel to ignite the fire within.