DeAaron Fox

Fox, Ellis reveal message behind Kings' pivotal players-only meeting

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In the aftermath of the Kings' epic overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, Keon Ellis and De’Aaron Fox revealed what took place in the players-only meeting that occurred before the game.

Speaking to reporters after Sunday’s practice, Ellis and Fox explained that the meeting allowed Kings players to express their opinions in a safe environment. 

Ellis was asked what he thought of players-only meetings, explaining how it was a positive experience for the team.

“I think it’s good for everyone to voice their opinions and say things they think might help the team, things we need to fix and whatnot,” Ellis said. “They’re definitely good for bringing teams together and trying to realign everyone’s focus.”

Fox echoed those statements, telling the assembled media that the meeting was great for team morale because it allowed players who normally never speak up when coaches are present to express themselves.

“It was great," Fox said. "I think if you’ve ever been a player of any kind of sport, you’ve been around some guys who don’t talk openly when there are coaches around. I think that’s what’s good about players-only meetings, nothing has to leave the meeting, obviously we let the coaches know what our point was.

“You have to have a middle ground, obviously there are some things that you want to do that coaches don’t want to do [or vice versa] and you have to find that middle ground. Everyone talks to each other and communicates, and you go out there and make it work.”

Coming off a tough loss to the Denver Nuggets and without Fox, the Kings faced an uphill battle against the Timberwolves, ultimately pulling off the win thanks to Malik Monk’s 39-point offensive explosion.

The win was a big confidence boost for the Kings, who have been mired in mediocrity for a recent stretch of the 2023024 NBA season, currently sitting just outside the top six in the Western Conference standings and a half-game back of the Phoenix Suns.

Sacramento is 5-5 over its last 10 games and will need to continue to win to move up the standings and avoid a potential NBA play-in tournament game against the likes of the Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, who all are currently in play-in position.

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