Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox had a pretty standard night at the foul line on Saturday against the Utah Jazz. He averages seven free-throw attempts per game, and in that 128-112 loss, he attempted six. The problem, as he saw it, was in how the officiating crew handled his Jazz counterpart, Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell, on average, takes 5.9 free throws per game. Against the Kings? He managed 17 attempts and made 15 of them, while the Jazz shot 30-for-35 from the line as a team. That helped Utah cruise to a double-digit victory, and Fox made his frustration known afterward by calling for the officials to treat both sides equally.
"If you're going to call something on one end, call it on the other end," Fox said after the game. "And if somebody is trying to talk to you, you can't get your feelings [hurt] so quick to where it's not even a hostile conversation and you're saying, 'Don't talk to [me]' and this and this and that and that. I mean, you're coming down guessing on plays."
Fox was fined $20,000 for his comments, the NBA announced Monday. The move was hardly a surprise given the league's standard operating procedure, but given Sacramento's precarious place in the standings, the complaints make sense. The Kings entered Monday three games behind the Golden State Warriors for the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference. Anything they can do to call attention to perceived officiating inequities can only help their rapidly decreasing playoff odds at this point.