Point guard prospect De’Aaron Fox opened up in a Q&A with ESPN.com. The New York Knicks are hopeful Fox will be available when they select.
De’Aaron Fox is one of the top prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft, and the New York Knicks hope to be in a position to pick him. This draft is all about the point guards so expect to hear Fox’s name a lot leading up until June 22.
The 19-year-old spoke to ESPN’s Chris Haynes about the draft process, his brief college career, and what makes him different. Fox also made some bold statements about a couple of popular NBA players.
The former McDonald’s All-American has a high opinion of his game. When asked who he would compare himself to, Fox talked about Washington Wizards point guard John Wall.
“Probably one that everybody says: John Wall. The way John’s been playing, I have no problems being compared to him. I just want to be able to come into the league and do what he’s doing and try to do more. He’s a great player to be compared to.”
Wall was named to his fourth All-Star team this season and has emerged as the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.
The name-dropping didn’t stop there, though.
When asked whose game he most admired Fox didn’t go with a point guard. He gave an answer that says a lot about his personality: Kevin Garnett.
“My favorite player was Kevin Garnett growing up. Just seeing the fire he played with and how much passion he played with, it just made me want to play like that. He gave you 110 percent every time he got on the floor. Seeing that made me want to do that. I’m just trying to get in the shape where I’m able to do that game in and game out.”
Fox mentioned that he spoke to Wall, a fellow former Kentucky Wildcat, about the draft process. Wall knows it well as he was the No. 1 overall pick back in 2010.
“I’ve talked to John [Wall] a few times about it and Karl-Anthony Towns. They’re just telling me go in and show teams how confident you are. Every workout, you’re probably not going to shoot it well. We all have those days, but just always being confident even in interviews like this. Don’t be timid. Just show them you’re an alpha dog. It’s tough in the league and you want to command that respect when you get there.”
Fox is setting high goals for himself, but it’s good to hear a kid be confident in his game. He knows that there’s one trait in his game that separates him from the other point guard prospects in this draft.
According to Fox, it’s his defense that sets him apart from the rest of the pack.
“Defensively, I feel like I’m definitely the best guard in the draft,” he said. “I’m confident in myself. For me, it’s not about offensive scoring, I want to shut the other guy down.”
He’ll have a chance to show off those skills at the draft combine in Chicago that runs this week.
It’s been news recently that some of the top prospects are skipping the combine. Haynes asks Fox why he’s attending. It’s not like he has anything to prove.
“Ever since I was younger, I’ve always wanted to go to the combine. It’s a part of the draft process so I’ve always pictured myself going. Some guys don’t go but for me, I just wanted to be there.”
Fox had plenty to say about the phenomenal things he did during his one season at Kentucky.
He spoke about his NCAA Tournament run that catapulted his draft stock and his signature moment: a one-on-one battle with Lonzo Ball in the Sweet 16. Fox won handily putting up 39 points and Kentucky advanced to the Elite 8.
On draft stock spiking in the tournament:
“It was extremely important. It helped me, just because during the year I kind of struggled but I feel like I peaked at the right moment and settled into the big games. Not just the NCAA tournament, but the SEC tournament I played great. I feel like that helped me tremendously not only improve my draft stock, but just getting people to recognize my game and understanding that I want to compete at the highest level.”
On the one-on-one matchup with Ball:
“Honestly, they beat us the first time, so I didn’t want to let my team lose again. Especially getting that far. I didn’t want to lose to a team that we had already lost to. I came out and I started performing and I was playing well at the beginning of the game. Coach and my teammates, they just told me they were going to ride with me and I ended up having a good game.”