CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — “The Scores are here. The Scores are here,” yelled Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, as he walked into the media room at the Spectrum Center on Feb. 15.
The young and talented Kings took the next step in growth and evolution as the “Sacramento Scores” was on full display during the 2019 All-Star weekend of activities.
Four Kings players, De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley III, all participated in the NBA’s annual event, this time on the Eastern seaboard.
In the Rising Stars Challenge, Fox had 16 assists, five steals, and two rebounds while Bagley III added 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals in the 161-144 Team USA victory over Team World.
Fox’s and Bagley’s teammate Bogdanovic had 15 points, six assists, and one steal for Team Word. The players from this year’s USA team came to play since they were lost last year, 155-124.
Fox’s fell short of the assists record, which is 22 in the challenge. He only had three turnovers.
“Donovan (Mitchell) facetime me and Trae (Young) at the same time, and said we gotta win this year. I’m like, ‘Well you gotta pass the ball’” Fox said.
Los Angles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma brings home the MVP after scoring 35 points on 15 of 27 shooting for Team USA. Fox played a major factor in Kuzma’s MVP performance, as he encouraged him to shoot.
“Kuz I told him before the game, every time I pass it to you shoot it,” Fox said after the game. “I told them to. I was going for the assist record.”
With Fox in the Skills Competition and Hield in the Three-Point Shooting Contest, the Kings players still put up good eﬀorts during their performances.
Fox was perfect through the competition and would have easily won. But he missed his three-point attempt leaving Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Young the opportunity he needed to take and nail his one three-point attempt.
Hield was hot in the First Round of the long-ball competition, making 8 of 9 money balls (4 of 5 from the money ball rack), ﬁnishing with a score of 26. Hield was consistent at each rack in the First Round, as he didn’t miss more than two shots.
The Second Round was a diﬀerent story. Hield ﬁnished with a score of 19, missing 3 of his 8 money balls. His total on the day stood at 45.
Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Harris surprised the All-Star ﬁeld with a second round score of 26, beating Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry’s 24.
It was a satisfying trip for the Kings. It brought the team together more as all players in attendance passionately supported their teammates in their respective competitions.
“It’s always great having that support from your teammates,” Fox said. “They show up and support, ya know. I think that is a testament to how close guys are and how willing we are to support each other.”
By Russell Stiger Jr. | OBSERVER Visual and Content Reporter
OBSERVER photos by Russell Stiger Jr.