The novelty of the De’Aaron Fox-Lonzo Ball on- and off-court rivalry took another turn Monday, but not in the way fans were hoping. Ball reportedly will sit out Monday night’s anticipated NBA Summer League matchup in Las Vegas between his Los Angeles Lakers and Fox’s Sacramento Kings to rest a sore groin, according to a tweet by Sam Amick, an NBA writer for USA Today and Sports Illustrated.
The two were set to play at 10:30 p.m. on NBA TV. The matchup was highly anticipated for a summer league game, so much that the Kings planned a watch party.
The reaction on Twitter to Ball’s absence was immediate and included a tweet from Fox that he quickly deleted.
The game would have pitted the two against each other for the first time as pros after two ballyhooed meetings as collegians. Fox scored 39 points against a largely ineffective Ball in Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament win over UCLA in March, and arguably, also outplayed the Bruin in UCLA’s regular season win over the Cats., But Ball got drafted ahead of Fox by the Lakers in the No. 3 spot as Fox went to the Kings at No. 5.
Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell later confirmed Ball would miss Monday’s game and be re-evaluated Wednesday. The Lakers have Tuesday off.