Over at The Undefeated, Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox has been keeping a running diary of his trip to India, where the Kings went head-to-head against the Indiana Pacers in what were the first NBA games to ever be played in the country of 1.3 billion people.
During the second game of the back-to-back, Fox heard chants of “MVP” from the crowd of nearly 5,000 fans while shooting free throws. The former Wildcat detailed that experience in his fifth entry of the ESPN diary.
“I heard the fans chanting, ‘MVP, MVP,’ when I was shooting free throws,” Fox wrote. “I appreciate the chants, but I got a lot of work to do to get there. It is funny that I heard MVP chants for the first time in India.”
Fox posted 10 points and six assists during the Kings’ second preseason game on Saturday, although he shot poorly from the field, going 1-6. This came one day after the point guard went for 16 points, eight assists, and three rebounds during an overtime loss on Friday.
The Kings will head back to the states with two losses under its belt, but Fox’s performance was more about the impact he hopes to have on basketball around the globe and the fans in India.
“To the fans, thank you,” Fox continued. “We hope we put on a performance. It’s literally the highest level of basketball in the world, so I just hope that they enjoyed this and we left them with a great first impression. And for those that probably never touched a basketball before, especially the kids, I hope we were able to make it fun enough so that they’d want to play it themselves.”
Go ahead and check out the entire journal from Fox, who collaborated with ESPN’s Marc J. Spears. It’s packed with so many interesting details about Fox’s journey to the other side of the world and the cultural differences he experienced.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) October 6, 2019
Fox talks about his favorite part of the trip (visiting the Taj Mahal) and the team’s “Bollywood Party” hosted by team owner and native of India, Vivek Ranadive. Fox was also sporting a custom-made Indian outfit along with the rest of his teammates for the party.
There's no party like a Mumbai party! ?? pic.twitter.com/QasQEOlyOt
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) October 5, 2019
(Shoutout to Wenyen Gabriel)
Fox might be a few years away from making a legitimate run at being named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, but the recognition is a cool aspect to what will go down as a ground-breaking movement for the league as they push to market basketball in the South Asian country.