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‘He can dominate’: De’Aaron Fox has something other rookies lack, Kenny Smith says

Kings guard De'Aaron Fox drives against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 3 in Sacramento.
Kings guard De'Aaron Fox drives against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 3 in Sacramento. AP

The 2017 NBA draft featured several point guards selected early, including the Kings’ De’Aaron Fox, who was selected fifth.

TNT’s Kenny Smith said Fox has a gift others in his class lack, and it’s helping him adjust to the NBA.

“He has a gear that none of them have,” Smith said. “So he can dominate a game a little bit easier because he’s physically faster than guys, where he doesn’t always have to say I’ve got to put (the ball) between my legs, behind my back. You know what? I’m just going to run by you.”

Barkley: Players don’t need more pampering – Hall of Fame forward Charles Barkley isn’t shedding a tear for NBA players and their scheduling complaints.

He has no sympathy for wealthy players on chartered flights.

“Making things easier for these guys, I’m not a big proponent of (it),” Barkley said Thursday at a media session for TNT’s Inside the NBA analysts. “If Bill Russell and Dr. J and those guys could play three games in three nights in the worst shoes ever invented and fly commercial or ride a bus, I think these guys can be inconvenienced a few days a year. They make $30 million dollars and ride on a private jet.”

Barkley said the players are trying to extend their careers to make more money, which he understands. But he’s not in favor of continually adding more rest days during the season.

Barkley entered the league in 1984, when teams still traveled on commercial flights.

“I know what it’s (expletive) like to get up at 5 in the morning, fly three hours and play a basketball game that same night,” Barkley said. “These guys, after the game they get a nice hot meal, they fly private so come on, so let’s keep making it easier for them.”

Playground rules – Smith is a fan of the new All-Star Game format where captains pick their team, but he’d like to shed more light on the process.

When Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James drafted their teams, it was not televised, and the order in which they picked was never revealed.

Smith would like to see the picking of teams done live, right before the game.

“I want to see it on Sunday, right on the court,” Smith said. “Just like you’re in the park: ‘I’ve got him’ and ‘I’ve got him.’ ... The fans would go crazy. Every time somebody gets picked the whole arena would explode.”

Take it easy – Barkley said when he played in All-Star games, he was there to “break a sweat” but not do too much, or risk injury.

Not everyone takes that approach. Barkley said you usually spot those players diving for loose balls.

“There’s always one or two fools trying to get MVP,” Barkley said. “You’ve got to stay out of their way.”

The former King compares the NBA All-Star game with the NFL's Super Bowl and how the event has changed over the years.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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