De’Aaron Fox: The Guy You Want in Your NBA Locker Room
Meet De’Aaron Fox, who was quickly come onto the national college basketball spectrum as the amazing Kentucky point guard with really cool hair. Fox is one of those players whose impact on the game doesn’t necessarily show up in the box score, even though his stats do look just fine. His impact is bigger than numbers. Before the Louisville game, he was averaging 16 points per game, five rebounds and seven assists, making him the only player in Division One to average over 15, 5 and 7. But the two things he does best don’t even show up on the stat sheet, how he runs the team and how unguardable he is due to his speed. Lonzo Ball, Joel Berry, Quentin Snider, you name it. They have not been able to stop Fox from driving right past them. This year’s Kentucky team team is like a brand new Ferrari, but Fox is the only one with the keys. I say this because I believe that no one else can run this team like Fox does. He is able to set the pace that the team plays at, while still scoring. He told me last spring that Coach Cal was going to look at him as “An extension of Coach Cal on the court,” and Fox is just that and more.
But Fox is not only an impressive player on the court, most of you will never get to see the best part about him, his personality. As a leader- he’s humble, very approachable, and the guy everyone wants to be around. I say these things based on my interactions with him. I was fortunate enough to meet and talk to Fox on two different occasions last year. The first time was at the McDonald’s All American game, when I interviewed him at the media day. I was a 14-year-old no name blogger waiting behind ESPN and Scout. But Fox gave me as much, if not more attention than he gave any of those guys and it was one of my best interviews ever. Also because it felt like we were having a real conversation. He was talking to me not because he had to, but because he actually enjoyed it. We discussed his choice to go to Kentucky, the possibility of five freshman starting and a repeat of the Fab Five, music and more. He made me feel special, which was a huge irony given the circumstances. The next time I saw him was about three weeks later at the Jordan Brand Classic. After the game there was a big concert on the court, all the fans could go on the court and the players were scattered everywhere. As I was just walking around I heard someone call my name, I turned around and it was Fox. It wasn’t media day, he wasn’t obligated to speak to anyone, but he went out of his way to reach out to me, because that’s just who he is. We talked for a good a while…not about typical press questions, we had covered that. We chatted about rappers, the gear they gave away at the event, video games, and other topics that he was beyond happy to talk to me about. Fun fact, Fox is an absurd Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 player so don’t even try him, it won’t end well. The point of this story is–at the time Fox knew 14 months from then he would be going to the NBA, he still went out of his way to call my name, because that’s just his genuine personality. You can’t teach leaders how to be genuine. You can’t teach people respect. You can’t teach a personality that’s magnetic. Fox has the whole package and that’s the person I would want to run my team.