Fox admits to feeling burden of Kings' playoff drought


"With the fifth pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select De’Aaron Fox."

As soon as Fox heard those words, he knew the challenge that lay ahead and what was going to be expected from him joining a team that hadn’t made a postseason appearance since the 2005-06 NBA season. 

"I told people even with the draft, I kind of knew where I was going," Fox said on “The Draymond Green Show.” "Sacramento was five, so I knew that’s where I’m going. That’s where I want to go. I know the history. I’m like, 'I can go there and change something.' " 

Fast-forward to present day -- six years after Fox was drafted by the Kings -- and nothing really has changed. Sacramento is in a deeply dehydrated 16-year playoff drought, the longest in North American professional sports. 

And although Fox has only been in the league for six seasons, the 24-year-old feels the pressure. 

“Every time you see a little Instagram post showing the Sacramento Kings haven’t been there in 16 years, I’m the face that’s on it like I’ve been in the league for 16 years or something," Fox told Draymond Green. "Nah, you definitely feel the burden of the 16-year drought in just the five that I’ve been here.” 

Fox is well aware of Sacramento's playoff history, especially during the 2001-02 season when the Kings made it to the Western Conference finals but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in an intense seven-game series. They were one game away from making their first NBA Finals appearance since relocating to Sacramento. 

Fans can't wait to once again be a part of a playoff atmosphere in Sactown. 

"You walk around and you talk to any Kings fan, the first thing they’re going to bring up is ‘01-‘02, so I’m just trying to be able to get back to that so that now you bringing up 2022-23 or whatever it may be rather than we talk about something that happened 20 years ago," Fox said. "If a Kings fan is over 30 years old, they’re going to bring up that Lakers series or that year nine times out of 10. I’m not saying I’m getting tired of hearing it, but I’m getting tired of hearing it." 

He's probably not the only one. 

RELATED: What Keegan learned facing Dubs after Kings' rally falls short

With a new head coach in Mike Brown, rookie Keegan Murray already proving himself worthy of being a top draft pick and a couple of offseason additions, the feeling in the air of the 916 felt promising at the start of the 2022-23 season.

But the Kings aren't off to the best start. 

It's early, of course, but Sacramento is still searching for its first win of the season, sitting at 0-3. There are some things to work on and tighten up a bit, but it looks like Fox is ready to put his words into action. 

Fox is averaging 31.7 points, 7.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds in the first three games of the season. If anyone's ready to change the narrative in Sacramento, it's Fox. 

"Yeah, that’s the goal," Fox said. "That’s the goal since I’ve been here."

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