De’Aaron Fox Shocks the NBA World by Winning Inaugural Clutch Player of the Year Award

Sacramento Kings star point guard De’Aaron Fox takes the FIRST-EVER NBA Clutch Player of the Year award after leading the way with 194 points

Sacramento Kings star point guard De’Aaron Fox has been named the winner of the first-ever NBA Clutch Player of the Year award.

Fox was announced Tuesday night as the inaugural winner of the new gong, as selected by a panel of 100 writers and broadcasters who cover the league.

Fox became Sacramento’s first individual winner of a major award since Tyreke Evans held off Stephen Curry for Rookie of the Year in 2010.

The Kings almost certainly won’t be waiting 13 years for their next one – it’ll be more like 24 hours, probably, with Mike Brown expected to be announced as the coach of the year when the NBA reveals those results on Wednesday.

The voting was a runaway; Fox, who led the league with 194 clutch points, got 91 of the possible 100 first-place votes. Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan and Miami’s Jimmy Butler were the other finalists.

De'Aaron Fox won the NBA's first-ever Clutch Player of the Year award for the 2022-23 season
Fox led the NBA with a total of 194 points in clutch situations down the stretch of games

DeRozan was second in the NBA with 159 clutch points this season, and Butler was third with 151.

Fox led the league in clutch-game scoring this season with 194 points in 39 such games; clutch games are defined as those where the margin between teams is five points or less at any point in the final 5:00. He actually shot better from the field in those moments (53 percent) than he did at all other times (51 percent).

He becomes the first recipient of The Jerry West Award; it was named for the player 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, but unlike other awards the field of candidates is first narrowed down by polling of NBA coaches.

Fox was one of many major contributors to a resurgence in Sacramento this season.

The Kings – who currently lead defending champion Golden State 2-0 in a Western Conference first-round series – reached the postseason for the first time in 17 years.

Fox is averaging a team-best 31 points in those two playoff games so far. And at 48-34, this was Sacramento’s best regular season since going 50-32 in 2004-05.

The award was the second major individual one to be announced by the league this season.

Fox (left) looks to pass the ball after driving past Denver Nuggets center DeAndre Jordan

Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. was announced Monday as the defensive player of the year.

Coach of the year – Brown, Oklahoma City’s Mark Daigneault or Boston’s Joe Mazzulla – will be announced Wednesday and Sixth Man of the Year – Boston’s Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis Jr. or New York’s Immanuel Quickley – will be revealed Thursday.

The rest of the schedule for announcing other league awards, including MVP, most improved player and Rookie of the Year, has not yet been disclosed.

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