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Kings’ De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton vocal on Luke Walton getting thrown under the bus

Kings, De'Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Luke Walton

Sacramento Kings players De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton jumped to the defense of head coach Luke Walton after their team’s disappointing loss to the Toronto Raptors. Walton received criticism after the Kings were beaten 89-108 by the Raptors on Friday.

The defeat to the Raptors was their sixth loss from their last seven games, but Fox and Haliburton were quick to shoulder the blame as players on the court. Speaking for his coach after the game, De’Aaron Fox told Jason Anderson:

“He’s not out there missing box outs or not making shots or allowing guys to get in the paint, so as a player, everybody needs to do their job at the end of the day.”

Despite scoring a team-high 17 points with 8-of-13 shooting from the field, Fox also a recorded a team-worst minus-22. Tyrese Haliburton also had a game to forget after scoring just eight points. Referencing his team’s poor shooting on the day, Haliburton defended Walton by saying:

“It’s not on him. It’s not. He did not shoot 32 of 84 from the field. He did not shoot 64% at the free-throw line.”

While he may not be playing on the court, Luke Walton certainly has a part to play in his team’s recent poor displays. The criticism isn’t new to him, but he stressed the importance of avoiding putting extra pressure on his players. He told reporters:

“I appreciate their support, but I don’t even want them having to think about that. I know the reality of what this league is, but we need our guys focused on what we’re trying to accomplish out there.”

Following the loss to the Raptors, the Kings currently sit 12th in the Western Conference standings with a 6-10 record.