MNO Sports >Basketball Hub >De'Aaron Fox wins NBA's new Clutch Player of the Year award

De'Aaron Fox wins NBA's new Clutch Player of the Year award

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It was a tiegame in Orlando on Nov. 5. De’Aaron Fox got the ball with aboutfive seconds left, took four dribbles and let a shot fly from justinside of midcourt as time expired.

Swish, for the win.

A clutchmoment — one of many for the Sacramento guard this season. Fox wasannounced Tuesday night as the inaugural winner of the NBA’s clutchplayer of the year award, as selected by a panel of 100 writers andbroadcasters who cover the league.

Miami’s JimmyButler was second, and Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan was third.

“You can’t beafraid to fail,” Fox said on the TNT broadcast of the announcement.“Obviously, you’re not going to make every shot, but my teammates,my coaches, they put me in position to succeed. So the least I cando is have confidence in myself to take good shots.”

Fox becameSacramento’s first individual winner of a major award since TyrekeEvans held off Stephen Curry for rookie of the year in 2010. TheKings almost certainly won’t be waiting 13 years for their nextaward — it’ll be more like 24 hours, probably, with Mike Brownexpected to be announced as the coach of the year when the NBAreveals those results on Wednesday.

The votingwas a runaway; Fox, who led the league with 194 clutch points, got91 of the possible 100 first-place votes and 460 of a possible 500points. Butler got one first-place vote and 104 points, whileDeRozan finished with 80 points — just three ahead of fourth-placefinisher Jalen Brunson of New York.

DeRozan wassecond in the NBA with 159 clutch points scored this season, andButler was third with 151.

Fox led theleague in clutch-game scoring this season with 194 points in 39such games; clutch games are defined as those where the marginbetween teams is five points or less at any point in the final5:00. He actually shot better from the field in those moments (53%)than he did at all other times (51%).

He becomesthe first recipient of the Jerry West Trophy; it was named for theplayer who earned the moniker of “Mr. Clutch” during his career.The NBA announced in December that it was adding the clutch award;like most other awards, it is voted on by the media panel, butunlike other awards the field of candidates is first narrowed downby polling of NBA coaches.

Fox was oneof many major contributors to a resurgence in Sacramento thisseason.

The Kings —who currently lead defending champion Golden State 2-0 in a WesternConference first-round series — reached the postseason for thefirst time in 17 years. Fox is averaging a team-best 31 points inthose two playoff games so far. And at 48-34, this was Sacramento’sbest regular season since going 50-32 in 2004-05.

“My teammatesand my team put me in position to succeed,” Fox said.

The award wasthe second major individual one to be announced by the league thisseason.

Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. was announced Mondayas thedefensive player of the year. Coach of the year (Brown, OklahomaCity’s Mark Daigneault or Boston’s Joe Mazzulla) will be announcedWednesday and Sixth Man of the Year (Boston’s Malcolm Brogdon,Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis Jr. or New York’s Immanuel Quickley) willbe revealed Thursday.

The rest ofthe schedule for announcing other league awards, including MVP,most improved player and rookie of the year, has not yet beendisclosed.

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