By Mark Haynes | OBSERVER Correspondent

Photos by Russell Stiger, Jr.

It took seven games  — and a mythical 50-point performance from Stephen Curry in a 120-100 win on Sunday — for the Golden State Warriors to eliminate the Sacramento Kings in the first round of the NBA playoffs. 

While the Warriors’ and Curry’s legendary NBA status is secured, Warriors forward Draymond Green shared how he gained a new admiration for the Kings — especially De’Aaron Fox.

“I’ve lost a lot of respect for guys over the years in the playoffs, and then there are some you gain respect for,” Green shared postgame. “There are some you know are cut from that same cloth you feel like you’re cut from, and Fox is one of those guys.”

Although Fox struggled in Game 7 (16 points, 5-19 shooting from the field), he played at an All-Star level the rest of the series. After he fractured the index finger on his shooting hand in Game 4, he continued playing at a high level which prompted Curry to embrace him with some positive words after the Warriors’ series-clinching win at the Golden 1 Center. During the postgame interviews, Fox shared what Curry told him.

“He told me people know who I am now,” Fox told The OBSERVER. “Being able to play on this stage and perform well, obviously, I don’t think I played well tonight, but I know that there’s another level that I have to get to as a professional and that our team has to get to as well, but I’m grateful for this experience.”

While the Kings’ season ended on a sour note, the impression Fox, the Kings organization and the city of Sacramento left on the league was appreciated by Green. 

“This won’t be the last we see of Fox; this won’t be the last we see of the Kings,” Green said after the game. “They are headed in the right direction and you’ve got to give them a lot of credit. I’m honored to have played in that series; to play in this hostile environment — the fans were incredible.”