De’Aaron Fox says new Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton pushed him to make the Team USA World Cup roster.
It looks like Fox took Walton’s challenge seriously, as the youngster is a virtual lock to make the team after dominating the first week of training camp in Las Vegas. Team USA is taking 12 guys to China to compete in the FIBA World Cup.
“He’s pushed me to go out and try to make the team, because he says every player that he’s ever coached or he’s ever played with who went to USA Basketball has come back better,” Fox said, via Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register. “We want to try to grow our relationship before we go back and the season starts.”
De’Aaron Fox averaged 17.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists last season for the Kings. The lefty shot 45.8 percent from the field, 37.1 percent from beyond the arc and 72.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Fox is primed to use this Team USA experience as a springboard for his 2019-20 NBA season. The Kings’ floor general could vault himself into the All-Star conversation next season since he’s going to become a more polished and mature player after playing for Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich.
Sacramento is hoping Luke Walton will be the coach to break its playoff drought. The Kings haven’t made the postseason since 2006. For the franchise to make the playoffs next season, Fox will have to lead the charge on both ends of the floor.