De’Aaron Fox has Lonzo Ball’s number, so when Ball sat out a summer league game against Fox’s Sacramento Kings, conspiracy theorists started to wonder: Was Ball ducking Fox?
The Los Angeles Lakers rookie was a late scratch Monday with a minor groin injury, which seems like an innocent enough situation, especially for the summer league.
But when you remember that Fox outplayed Ball in both of their NCAA meetings last season, well, that was enough for some to say Ball wanted nothing to do with Fox this time around.
Fox even tweeted this shortly after the news broke before eventually deleting the tweet.
Fox spoke to reporters after the game and said, with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, he was hacked.
Fox also defended Ball and said he doesn’t think Ball wanted out of the rematch.
“He’s a competitor,” Fox said told reporters after the game, per ESPN.com. “If he’s hurt, like people say, it’s summer league, don’t risk it. When I tweaked my ankle [in the third quarter], Coach took me out and said the same thing.
“No one is ducking anybody at the end of the day.”
However, not everyone was willing to believe that story.
While it’s an undeniable coincidence for Ball to miss his latest showdown with Fox, it’s probably a bit of a stretch to say he didn’t want to play for any other reason than he didn’t want to aggravate his injury. Both the Lakers and Kings are in the NBA’s Pacific Division, meaning there are a whole lot of showdowns between these two players down the road.
Thumbnail photo via Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports Images