Tucked away in Northern California, the Sacramento Kings have been quietly building a playoff roster centered on the talents of All-Star point guard De'Aaron Fox. Often mocked for passing up the likes of Luka Doncic and dealing for Domantas Sabonis, the Kings have trusted their own process — and it helped them end the longest playoff drought in NBA history in 2023. None of that would've been possible without Fox, whose biggest supporter is his wife, Recee Caldwell.
De'Aaron Fox's Wife, Recee Caldwell, is a Certified Baller
With the NBA playoffs returning to Sacramento for the first time since 2006, no basketball player was more ready to take on the Golden State Warriors than Fox, whose wife and their first child, baby boy Reign Fox, were sitting courtside cheering him on, along with the rest of the fans in Golden 1 Center. As the Western Conference playoffs begin, Fox can turn to his former Kentucky Wildcats teammate Malik Monk for advice — or even his own wife, who has quite the basketball resume? herself.
Recee Caldwell was a high school sensation who played college basketball at UCLA, Texas Tech and California - Berkeley before moving on to the WNBA, where she briefly played for the Seattle Storm.
In between her time at Texas Tech and her transfer to Cal, Recee interned in player development within the Washington Wizards organization ahead of the 2018 NBA Draft. During the summer league in 2018, while waiting to say hello to Fox's former teammate Harry Giles, the Kings point guard walked by Recee and said nothing. Caldwell couldn't let that stand.
"'De' walked by, and growing up in Texas, usually hoopers know each other. But I'm two classes above him," Recee said years later. "Obviously, I've watched De'Aaron for a long time. ... I figured he knew me. He didn't know me, so he just walks by me."
So, as the saying goes, shooters shoot, and Caldwell sent De'Aaron a DM saying, "Oh, so you're not going to say anything?" De'Aaron took that to heart, and the two talked for 12 hours over the next two days.
After a wrist injury ended her professional career and the Storm waived Caldwell, the former McDonald's All-American moved to Sacramento with the Kings star.
The Fox Family Feeds Off Recee's High Basketball IQ
NBA players know that having a high basketball IQ is of the utmost importance. While Fox is out there racking up points, assists and rebounds, Recee Fox is always there with her take on his performance.
"After games, I definitely pick and choose what to say to him," Recee said to Andscape.com. "If he has a bad game, a lot of the times my thing is, 'Did you stay healthy? Are you happy?' That's what I care about. Obviously, he's not going to be happy that he lost, but De'Aaron as a human being first is what I care about. This basketball stuff will be good for 12 years, and then it's going to be our relationship that we have to focus on after."
Fox takes it all in stride. "I trust her opinion. She worked in player development in the NBA."
So far, that insight has helped Fox and the Kings, led by head coach Mike Brown, finish the 2022-23 season ahead of LeBron James' Lakers and Kawhi Leonard's Los Angeles Clippers. What does that success get a team? A first-round matchup with two-time MVP Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. But for a team that is normally lumped in with bottom-feeder NBA teams such as the New Orleans Pelicans and the Houston Rockets, being in the same conversation as the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets is a testament to Fox's hard-nosed play and belief in the Kings.
The last time we saw a single player will his team into the postseason? Michael Jordan and the 1984-85 Chicago Bulls. Seriously. While other playoff teams like the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics are headlined by NBA superstars and ESPN darlings Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler and Jayson Tatum, the Kings have Fox, who just recently became an NBA All-Star. And it's abundantly clear that without his wife Recee Caldwell's belief in her him, the Kings star might be watching the playoffs on TV for another year.
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