Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox keep stacking accolades.
De’Aaron Fox always knew everything meant more in Sacramento.
Before No.5 was drafted by the Kings in 2017, he said he embraced the idea of going to the Kings in hopes of restoring the franchise to greatness.
“Imagine being one of the players who's on a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in over a decade, almost two decades, and then being the first team to actually get to the playoffs,” Fox told J.J. Reddick two years ago on The Old Man and The Three podcast. “Obviously, it's hard as hell, but just being able to be a part of that would be something special.”
Fast forward, and No.5 made sure Sacramento’s 2022-2023 was nothing short of special, combining his personal success, including a first All-Star appearance and Clutch Player of the Year award, with team progress, featuring a Pacific Division Championship and postseason berth.
“I’m extremely proud of this group,” Fox said in his postseason exit interview. “It was a remarkable season for us from where we have been in the past. This is a big step in the right direction.”
With a beamin’ season comes well-earned accolades, as Sacramento’s All-Star duo of Sabonis and Fox was named to the All-NBA Third Team on Wednesday, giving the Kings their first All-NBA tandem in the Sacramento era.
According to StatMuse, the Kings franchise has had the fifth-most All-NBA selections in league history, while the last teammates to earn All-NBA together were Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas during the 1967-1968 season with the Cincinnati Royals.
After leading the NBA in double-doubles and rebounding, Sabonis proved to be one of the most dominant interior forces in the league, earning his third All-Star selection and first All-NBA nod, as he racked up regular reason averages of 19.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists.
Alongside him was the team’s starting point guard, who received his first All-NBA selection as well, after averaging 25.0 points and 6.1 assists during the regular season.
Together, the young stars helped Sacramento finish second in field-goal percentage (49.4), third in assists (27.3), fifth in 3-pointers made (1,128), and net the highest offensive rating in NBA history (118.6) with the squad scoring the most points per game by a team in 40 years.
“Because of the way it ended,” Fox said following the Kings first-round loss to the Golden State Warriors. "You want that sting to last a little bit. You don’t want to feel that again."
“I feel that’ll help you build toward the future.”
The last time No. 5 had a vision for creating something special in Sacramento, he delivered — and the Kings Pacific Division reign has just begun.