Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving had high praise for Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox after serving as the honorary coach for the U.S. Team in Friday night’s Rising Stars game as part of NBA All-Star Weekend at the Spectrum Center.
Fox, who will compete in the Skills Challenge on All-Star Saturday Night, recorded 16 assists to help the U.S. beat the World Team 161-144. Fox came up short in his quest to break John Wall’s Rising Stars assist record of 22, but he made a big impression on Irving.
“He’s an awesome player, man,” Irving said. “Seeing what he’s been able to accomplish thus far in the NBA season, it’s really showing through. Just passing, being able to play with a pace consistently, understanding that being in this league takes a lot more than just speed and athleticism, and he’s starting to slow his game down. I was happy I got a chance to be in the locker room with those young guys, but especially De’Aaron.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Irving, 26, with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He spent six seasons with the Cavaliers, helping them win an NBA title in 2016, before he was traded to the Celtics.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
Irving was the NBA Rookie of the Year and Rising Stars MVP in 2012. This year, he returned to the rookie-sophomore game to get a look at some of the league’s best young players.
“I’m going to be going against these young guys for a minute, so I’m always scouting them,” Irving said. “I’ve been watching De’Aaron since he was in high school, so I’m just happy for him as well as knowing what to expect from him going forward.”