NBA All-Star Game

Fox 8th in first NBA All-Star fan returns; Sabonis not top 10

NBC Universal, Inc.

Kings fans had plenty to react to after the first round of fan voting returns for the 2024 NBA All-Star Game were released Thursday.

Sacramento's star point guard De'Aaron Fox cracked the top 10 among Western Conference guards, finishing eighth in the initial ballot behind Luka Dončić, Steph Curry, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Edwards and Ja Morant. Klay Thompson and Austin Reaves finished behind Fox.

While Kings fans certainly were happy to see their All-Star point guard on the list, they couldn't help but scratch their heads at the fact that their All-NBA center was left off the top 10.

Kings big man Domantas Sabonis wasn't among the West's 10 frontcourt players with the most votes, as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Alperen Sengun, Victor Wembanyama, Chet Holmgren and Karl-Anthony Towns held that position in the first returns.

Sabonis, a three-time All-Star, hasn't missed a game for Sacramento this season and is averaging 19.6 points on 59 percent shooting, with 12.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists in 35.1 minutes. He already has 28 doubles-doubles on the season, second-best in the league behind Jokic, including a current streak of 15 consecutive games with a double-double.

Traded to the Kings toward the end of the 2021-22 season, Sabonis helped turn things around in Sacramento during his first full season with the organization, as he and Fox led the Kings to their first playoff appearance in 16 seasons.

Fox was named an All-Star for the first time in his career last season and slowly but surely is receiving the recognition he deserves.

The 26-year-old is posting career-highs nearly across the board, averaging 29.4 points on 47.4-percent shooting from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range, along with 4.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals in 36 minutes.

While Fox, Sabonis and the Kings have their eyes on the prize of turning playoff dreams into championship aspirations while going from a good to a great team, it'd be hard to imagine Sabonis being left off the top 10 of future fan returns.

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