When Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox withdrew from consideration for USA Basketball’s FIBA World Cup team, he cited his desire to prepare for the upcoming NBA season. Fox apparently wasted little time in following through on that promise.
Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that Fox and Kings teammate Buddy Hield attended a multi-day, invitation-only basketball camp hosted by Kobe Bryant, a player they both idolized growing up. Stein reported that Bryant held the camp in mid-August – shortly after Fox withdrew from Team USA – at his new facility in Thousand Oaks.
Other players who participated in the camp included Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Jamal Murray, Isaiah Thomas, John Collins and Aaron Gordon. Players reportedly received strength training, on-court training and video analysis with Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers skills coach Phil Handy and more.
Bleacher Report recently ranked Fox and Hield as the eighth-best backcourt duo in the NBA, just ahead of Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics. Fox and Hield both enjoyed breakout seasons in 2018-19, leading the Kings to a 39-win season and a ninth-place finish in the Western Conference.
Fox averaged 17.3 points, 7.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals, up from 11.6 points, 4.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals as a rookie in 2017-18. He also improved his 3-point shooting from 30.7 percent to 37.1 percent.
Hield led the Kings in scoring at 20.7 points per game after averaging 13.5 points the previous year. He also continued to emerge as one of the game’s great 3-point shooters, connecting on 42.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Sacramento Kings preseason schedule
Oct. 4 vs. Indiana Pacers, 6:30 a.m. (India)
Oct. 5 vs. Indiana Pacers, 6:30 a.m. (India)
Oct. 10 vs. Phoenix Suns, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Utah Jazz, 6 p.m.
Oct. 16 vs. Melbourne United, 7 p.m.