Sacramento Kings rookie De’Aaron Fox has one of the toughest jobs in the NBA for a franchise wading through a tough time. Fox entered the NBA in a stacked draft class full of guards that includes Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Donovan Mitchell, Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, and just like some of the names mentioned, he is currently going through a rookie adjustment period. But when he steps away from the court, Fox has become widely known as one of the NBA’s biggest gamers, maintaining a hobby he developed to clear his mind and take his focus away from the real game he now plays for a living.
For those that don’t know how big of a gamer Fox is, he recently started his own Youtube channel with connections to franchises like Call of Duty and signed a deal with HyperX, a gaming headset brand that outfits him when he streams his favorite games. Fox joins a list of avid NBA gamers such as Gordon Hayward, Jonas Jerebko, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
The Crossover had the opportunity to chat with Fox about his YouTube channel, Call of Duty and sneakers.
Jarrel Harris: You are one of the NBA’s biggest gamers, so where did this love for gaming come from? What games did you play growing up?
De'Aaron Fox: It really just comes from me playing video games when I was younger. My brother was a huge gamer back when he was in high school, and I started off with Call of Duty pretty early and of course sports games like NBA 2K, Madden, a lot of racing games and fighting games, so I played a lot of games.
JH:A lot of young players in the NBA are known to be huge Call of Duty fanatics. Why do you think the franchise has become a favorite around the league?
DA: Well, it is something that we can’t do in real life [laughs]. You can’t die over and over again. It is also a reason why I don’t play basketball games all of the time. I’m playing basketball in real life, I don't want to go home and see myself playing virtually as well. It’s just cool to get away from basketball.
JH: Who would be on your ultimate NBA COD squad?
DA: Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, I don’t know who else is really good. I will put my boy Justin [Jackson] on there as well.
JH: You recently started your own YouTube page dedicated to gaming. What was your motivation?
DA: Just to be able to interact with fans a lot more. A lot of my audience is kids a lot younger than me or around the same age. It’s those people who play video games. So it is really cool to be in a lobby with fans and sometimes it is random and sometimes I add a few of them as friends, and get some games in. It just touches a lot more people.
JH: Outside of gaming, what are some of your other off-the-court interests?
DA: I am into music. I don’t make music but I do listen to a large variety. Malik [Monk], my college roommate, listened to a bunch of country music, so I started listening to it and some classical music. I just got into golfing, so when we have time on our hands that is something that I may be doing. Those are the two things that I am into at the moment.
JH: What has been your biggest adjustment so far this season?
DA: I would say the physicality and just being able to run a team from the point guard position. It is really tough.
JH: Who is the toughest player that you have guarded so far?
DA: The toughest I would have to say John Wall. Just his explosiveness, his speed and ability to get people the ball. He was great when we played both times this season.
JH: As a former Kentucky point guard, did he give you any tips or advice after the games?
DA: Not just after the game, I kind of talk to John a lot since I’ve been in the league.
JH: How have the vets on the Kings roster such as Vince, Z-BO AND George Hill helped you along the way?
DA: They give a lot of great advice, especially if you lose a few games. Just not getting too low on your lows and not getting highs on your highs. Just always being ready and prepared. If you mess up, you can’t dwell on that because one bad play can turn into five bad plays then that turns into 10.
JH: Your hair has become part of your brand, like how Anthony Davis's uni-brow has gained popularity. What inspired your hairstyle and will you ever change it?
DA: I really just started getting my hair twisted and people kind of liked it so I kept doing it. It’s not really for anybody but I feel like I look good (laughs). I will start cutting my hair when I start losing my hair.
JH: How big is your sneaker closet and what are some notable sneakers that highlights your closet?
DA: I am honestly not a big sneakerhead or anything like that but I have the Just Don 2’s. I actually still have my Aunt Pearl KD IV’s, I feel those are really a classic. Bred XI’s, Bred 1’s and a few other pairs of Jordan's. I don’t really collect shoes.
JH: Nike was the first contract you signed as a pro athlete. How has the Swoosh supported you throughout the season?
DA: It’s great, I actually played in the Nike circuit in high school, so it is actually cool that they are paying me to wear their stuff now. It has been great and it is a good collaboration. I am able to give a lot of input into things that they give me.
JH: You play in various Kobe models. What is the backstory of playing in his sneakers?
DA: I’ve loved Kobe’s since they are low-top. Started with the Kobe IV’s. Mainly throughout high school, I wore Kobe’s, for the Nike EYBL circuit I wore Kobe’s and in college I wore Kobe’s. So now I just get a lot of custom Kobe’s now.
JH: Talking about custom Kobe’s, you had some crazy PE’s already, such as the ‘Why So Serious Joker’ colorway and the ‘Dragon Ball Z’ PE. How did those come about?
JH: My brother does a lot of customization, he is really into that and we just let them know and they whip stuff together. With the Dragon Ball Z one everyone knows I’m huge fan, and that is just something special that they gave me. I was really surprised and those shoes came out great.
JH: What would a De’Aaron Fox signature sneaker look like?
DA: [Laughs] Man, I have no idea. Probably something close to a Kobe, but I have no idea. I don’t even know what to do when it comes to designing a shoe.