The Sacramento Kings were mostly bad against the Dallas Mavericks during Friday night’s 93-88 barn-burner at the American Airlines Center, which they won. Rookie guard De’Aaron Fox proved he is worth getting excited over (again), pulling down four boards and putting up 18 points’ worth of midrange jumpers and layups. In the second quarter, he dropped an elbow 3 on Yogi Ferrell’s head, and somebody definitely yelled something as Fox put it up, which people seem to think sounded a lot like “... Kameha.”
Are you wondering why this is possibly the most important thing ever to happen? No, it’s fine, I’m happy to explain the basics. So, there’s this low-brow anime series called Dragon Ball Z, of which De’Aaron Fox is an avowed fan—he wears it proudly on his special edition Kobe ADs. On that show, there’s a merry band of martial artists that don’t do much of anything besides save the world from certain destruction. When they aren’t doing that, they’re training to save the world from certain destruction, or saving other planets from certain destruction, or eating ridiculous amounts of food. Also, everyone can fly.
Still with me? OK. Because there are so many martial artists, there are questions about who is the best. They actually hold a tournament every five years to decide this. But everyone, in the Dragon Ball universe and those who explore it on comic book pages and TV screens, agrees that Goku and Vegeta—who both belong to this alien warrior race called Saiyans ... just go with it—are the objective greatest. I’d say they have a strained and awkward relationship; Goku nearly atomized Vegeta once, but only after Vegeta tried to kill him, and now the two have a mostly amicable rivalry, and of course, they team up to stave off extinction-level events.
Goku’s special finishing move is this energy blast called the Kamehameha, where he cups his hands together and slowly growls out every syllable of the word before destroying acres of landscape. It borrows its name from the first ruler of Hawaii, and I spent countless hours when I was younger drawing it on notebooks, and standing on my living room furniture yelling it at my family as they walked through the den.
So, “... Kameha.” My colleague Kevin O’Connor, Super Sleuth, spliced together clips from the different broadcasts, and I can’t say for sure it was Fox who said it, or even that “... Kameha” was what that person, who again might not be Fox, even said. But it’s no fun that way, and to split hairs impossibly thin [pushes glasses up bridge of nose], “Kameha” isn’t exactly a thing—“... Hameha” might have been. But this isn’t why Fox refused to take ownership of the outburst. It’s because borrowing lines from Goku is beneath him, because Fox is #TeamVegeta. Like, extremely #TeamVegeta; the location on his Twitter page is “somewhere on planet Vegeta,” and his avatar is fan art of his likeness in Vegeta’s body armor. His hair, which shoots upward and fans outward, is distinctly Vegeta-like.
HOWEVER. It wouldn’t be unlike Vegeta to borrow game from Goku when a situation gets tight—like, in a dreadful half in which your team shoots 32.5 percent from the field—albeit reluctantly. Remember how Frank Ocean said “mah-jen-boo” on “Pink Matter”? It’s spelled “Majin Buu,” a bubblegum pink character in the Dragon Ball series with designs on wiping out humanity. Goku and Vegeta, in an effort to not let him succeed in doing that, did a joint Kamehameha. Are you rubbing your chin pensively? So am I.
Muffled sound bites aside, it’s worth noting that, per sports network Stadium’s official account, Lonzo Ball attached a Goku video to a tweet about his “Super Saiyan” music video, while Fox is, as we’ve established, aggressively #TeamVegeta. Eyeballs emoji indeed.