In what seems to be an annual tradition, it did not take all that long for drama to begin popping up in the Sacramento Kings’ locker room. The team, which came into the season with postseason aspirations and has a 3-4 record at this early juncture, is dealing with beef involving the Twitter accounts of the dads of two players: Third-year big man Marvin Bagley III and standout point guard De’Aaron Fox.
Things started over the weekend when Bagley’s father hopped onto Twitter and told the Kings’ official Twitter account that he wants his son traded. While he has since deleted the tweet, he did retweet a post that included a screenshot.
Marvin Bagley’s dad has requested a trade out of Sacramento for his son. Yikes city. https://t.co/S8jVnHuqKt
— Tony Xypteras (@TonyXypteras) January 3, 2021
Shortly after, a post by Tim Maxwell of The Kings Herald that highlighted tweets by Bagley’s dad and Richaun Holmes’ mother — the latter of whom expressed her admiration for the organization — saw an unexpected name pop up in the replies. Fox’s dad, Aaron, simply replied “trade him,” and while he did not specify who he meant, it seems pretty obvious he meant Bagley.
A tale of two parents pic.twitter.com/KnwMX61jQj
— SactownBabyGiraffe (@TimMaxwell22) January 3, 2021
— Aaron Fox (@aaronlfox5) January 4, 2021
This happening under any circumstance would, obviously, be very weird, but the timing of it makes things a little more strange. After starting 3-1 (prompting excitement that maybe they were returning to their 2018-19 form), Sacramento has dropped three in a row, with Bagley’s dad’s tweet coming amid an eight-point loss to the Houston Rockets — the former No. 2 overall pick scored 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting with nine rebounds and played the fewest minutes of any member of the team’s starting lineup (25) in the game. On the year, Bagley is averaging 10.9 points and 8.1 rebounds in 24.9 minutes a night while shooting 35.8 percent from the field.
The latest chapter in all of this came on Monday night. The Kings got thrashed by Golden State, 137-106, which saw them get blown out from wire-to-wire — the team ended the first quarter down 17 points. Unsurprisingly, the question that loomed over all of it was whether the public statements by the dads of 40 percent of the team’s starting lineup might have played a role in all of this.
After the game, Fox got asked that exact question and was candid that he did not believe the two things were related at all. Via Jason Jones of The Athletic:
“I don’t think anybody’s out there playing basketball worried about two tweets,” Fox said. “And if you are, this ain’t what you should be doing because muthaf*ckas gonna tweet you every day of your life while you’re playing in this league. If that’s what you’re worried about, then I don’t know what to tell you.”
“One, it hasn’t been brought up,” Fox said. “Me, Marvin, Luke talked for five seconds because it wasn’t a big deal. But like I said, when you’re playing basketball if you’re thinking about what somebody said on Twitter, then this ain’t for you. I’m 100 percent completely honest with you when I tell you nobody’s thinking about that while we’re on the court.”
Head coach Luke Walton echoed this sentiment, saying, “I don’t think that was part of our play tonight. We just played bad basketball tonight.”
In a statement that zero Kings fans will enjoy or dispute, these sorts of things always seem to exist in the ether around this team — we’re just a few months removed from reports that Buddy Hield was not returning calls from Walton. Still, this one is kind of unfair to both Bagley and Fox, who are now put in this position because of their dads being too online. It’ll nonetheless be something worth monitoring as Sacramento tries to navigate this season with one eye on a postseason berth.