De’Aaron Fox says Kings vs. Warriors isn’t a rivalry

Jan 26, 2024, 10:11 AM | Updated: 10:11 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 30: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors talks with De'Aar...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors have provided basketball fans with nail-biter after nail-biter over the past nine months.

From a hard-fought, seven-game NBA Playoff series in April to a thrilling preseason game–yes, preseason–to a four-game regular season series that involved three one-point games, the two Northern California foes know how to put on a show.

Thursday’s thriller in San Francisco was the latest Kings vs. Warriors classic as Sacramento pulled out a 134-133 win behind a career night from Harrison Barnes and a bounce-back performance from De’Aaron Fox.

While many view these close games as an indicator that a rivalry is brewing between these two teams, Fox threw water on that notion following the win.

“Have you asked anybody from our team before?” Fox said when asked if Kings vs. Warriors is becoming a rivalry. “Have you read anything about anybody from our team calling it a rivalry? Well, like I said, I’ve never called it a rivalry. Why would this be a rivalry?”

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When it comes to the rivalry concept of Kings vs. Warriors, many point to the fact that the teams reside just 85 miles down I-80 from one another. To Fox, that aspect doesn’t matter.

“[The Kings and Warriors] haven’t played that far from each other for 20 years. They never played each other in the playoffs. That’s why it’s trying to be considered a rivalry,” Fox said. “I would say if we played the Clippers in the playoffs last year, and we go to seven games, it’s probably considered the same thing because we played them 11 times in one season. So, just because the amount of games I don’t consider it a rivalry, no.”

Fox has a point.

Sacramento played the Warriors in eight of its final nine games last season (including the seven-game playoff series). During preseason in October, the Kings played Golden State twice. Two of the first four games of the regular season? Sacramento played the Warriors.

The amount of games played between the two teams doesn’t make a rivalry. It’s the give-and-take between two teams, the teeter-totter of results, and drama that comes with it.

April’s seven-game NBA Playoff series is certainly a starting point for a rivalry, but in this writer’s opinion, the Kings have to beat Golden State where it matters most for it to become a true rivalry: In the postseason.

Fox isn’t alone in this thought process, as Stephen Curry has also been hesitant to call the matchup a rivalry.

“I’m gonna have to check with the committee that defines what rivalry actually means,” Curry said when asked about Kings vs. Warriors in November.

“I love the narrative around the back-and-forth we’ve played them so many times over the last couple of years. Whatever you call it, it’s fun basketball, it’s entertaining. You have to play well to beat them just because of what they do. Obviously, a seven-game series helps, but, we know what to expect when we go up there. It’s cool that there is an extra little emphasis on the In-Season Tournament outcome of this group, fitting that it is against them.”

Who knows if Kings vs. Warriors will ever get to true “rivalry” status. Each fan, player, media member, etc. views rivalries through different lenses.

This Golden State Warriors team could look different in the near future with Klay Thompson’s future murky and Draymond Green under a microscope following a lengthy suspension. Will the Kings and Warriors get another playoff series? We’ll see.

Until then, Fox, Curry, and others are putting the rivalry label on hold.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento’s seven-game road trip will continue on Saturday when the Kings meet Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Arena.

On November 19th, Domantas Sabonis (32 points) and De’Aaron Fox (30 points) led Sacramento to a 129-113 win over the Mavs as six Kings players finished in double figures.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Mavericks coverage, beginning at 4:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 6:00 PM PST tip-off from Dallas.

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Upcoming Schedule

  • Saturday, January 27th – Sacramento Kings @ Dallas Mavericks – 6:00 PM PST
  • Monday, January 29th – Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies – 5:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, January 31st – Sacramento Kings @ Miami Heat – 4:30 PM PST
  • Friday, February 2nd – Sacramento Kings @ Indiana Pacers – 4:30 PM PST
  • Saturday, February 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Chicago Bulls – 5:00 PM PST

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