After the Los Angeles Lakers sat guard Lonzo Ball in Monday's Las Vegas Summer League game due to a groin injury, Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox downplayed the idea of Ball's being afraid to face him.
According to ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk, Fox praised his former college rival and discussed the importance of being cautious: "He's a competitor. 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."
After it was announced Ball wouldn't play Monday, Fox tweeted a facepalm emoji before deleting it. When asked about it, Fox said it was all in good fun: "I got hacked. Nah, I like to play with y'all. ... I know what y'all do. It made a story, didn't it?"
A potential Ball vs. Fox showdown was highly anticipated due to the battles they had last season when they played for UCLA and Kentucky, respectively.
The pair faced off twice, with Fox performing at a high level both times.
That was especially true in the NCAA tournament when Fox dropped 39 points in a win over the Bruins that primarily saw Ball attempting to guard him.
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In Monday's contest, Fox left in the third quarter with an ankle injury that he categorized as minor, per Youngmisuk.
Prior to his exit, Fox scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Ball's NBA Summer League debut last week was a disaster, as he had five points on 2-of-15 shooting, but he bounced back with a triple-double in his second outing, registering 11 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers selected Ball No. 2 overall in the 2017 NBA draft, while the Kings took Fox at No. 5.