HoopsHype Paul Westphal rumors

January 5, 2012 Updates
January 2, 2012 Updates

The Sacramento Kings' already-frustrating season evolved into an utter mess on Sunday, when coach Paul Westphal released a statement saying DeMarcus Cousins has demanded a trade and the agent for the second-year big man quickly denied the claim in an interview with SI.com. "When a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely," Westphal said in the statement. "DeMarcus Cousins has demanded to be traded. In the best interest of our team as we go forward, he has been directed by me, with the support of management, to stay home from the New Orleans game [on Sunday night]." SI.com

"Certainly you've heard of the cliché, 'the tip of the iceberg.' Well, this is certainly the tip of the iceberg [with Cousins]," Westphal said before Sunday's game. "You can only have so many chances before something has to be done and this time something had to be done. "I hope that DeMarcus has a change of heart and joins up with full reinstatement. ... This will give him the best chance to do that, and if he chooses not to do that, then we'll be better off going forward in the same direction. ... I think DeMarcus has to do some soul searching and decide if he's going to join me in a way that's desirable and acceptable to this organization." SI.com

Asked again late Sunday about his reasons for the dramatic and very public spanking of Cousins, Westphal replied: "He asked to be traded. We're going one direction. He's going anything direction. It's that simple." But, of course, it's not that simple. Cousins, in only his second year, has made significant progress by any measure. This is not the same player who was drafted with the No.5 overall pick in 2010 and showed up at the Las Vegas Summer League woefully out of shape. Sacramento Bee

Teams interested in Cousins have called the Kings, but none believe the team will seriously consider trading him so early in his career. Several rival executives expect the Kings will eventually make a coaching change and try a tougher style with Cousins. “Once you saw that release only came from Westphal, that was a telltale sign that this was a coach venting and not a call to the league by management and ownership that they were trading Cousins,” one Eastern Conference executive told Y! Sports. Yahoo! Sports

January 1, 2012 Updates

There has been concern since the opener against the Lakers, when the Kings prevailed because their defense stiffened in the final three minutes, not because of improved body and ball movement.Then they wilted after the first quarter in Portland. Then they wilted in the first quarter against the Chicago Bulls. Then they wilted in the first quarter against the Knicks, a team averaging 87 points a game upon arrival.Yet, there they were Saturday night, the same old Kings with a few new faces in the mix, the death-by-dribbling offense taking them down a perilous path. There was no extra pass, and often not even a second pass. There was no sense of shared purpose. There was no rotating for rebounds. There was very little movement and even less energy. There was a steamy locker room afterward."I think we're pretty down," Westphal conceded. "The fact is, we have to bounce back. The games are coming fast." Sacramento Bee

December 16, 2011 Updates
November 30, 2011 Updates
November 15, 2011 Updates

The Sacramento Kings have hired former Golden State Warriors head coach Keith Smart as an assistant under Paul Westphal, according to a release. Smart spent the 2010-11 season as the Warriors coach and had a 36-46 record before being replaced by Mark Jackson in the offseason. San Jose Mercury-News

November 14, 2011 Updates
November 12, 2011 Updates

Last Friday, Kings coach Paul Westphal flew to Phoenix to inform assistant Truck Robinson he would not be re-signed for a third season, a source revealed. Robinson, the former All-Star forward, and unruly rookie DeMarcus Cousins often squared off (no punches thrown, or at least landed, as far as I know) last season. By now, you’d think unless you’re Gregg Popovich, voices of authority would know better than to challenge the incessant insolence of a potential franchise player. What was Truck thinking? New York Post

October 27, 2011 Updates

But while refunds are available, the Kings are trying to persuade corporations to accept other benefits instead, including sponsorships of other events and community outreach programs. For instance, the Kings offered a meet-and-greet with coach Paul Westphal to Jeff Hallsten of Hallsten Corp., a North Highlands manufacturer that signed on as a sponsor during the spring rush. "They're really working hard to keep people plugged in," Hallsten said. And for Western Health Advantage, a $100,000 sponsor, the compensation could include an appearance by the Kings strength and conditioning coach at a wellness program. "It's a little bit of make-good," said Rick Heron, spokesman for Western Health. Sacramento Bee

September 10, 2011 Updates

SI.com: As this process has unfolded and now that it seems like the team could stay in Sacramento, what kind of sense and vibe do you get from the locals when you're doing events and around town? Westphal: The overwhelming sense that I get is how important the Kings are to a great many people in the Sacramento area. There's a real void that would be created if things aren't worked out and there are a lot of people who want to do everything they can to be able to say that, whatever happens, they won't look back with regret. They want this team. They want to support it. They enjoy basketball, and they want to do their part. That's the No. 1 thing I get out of the interaction I've had with fans. SI.com

SI.com: What about for you? Are you glad to see there's progress in Sacramento now, or how do you approach that aspect? Westphal: Oh, I absolutely look at it through the eyes of the people who have supported the team in Sacramento and want to see it remain there. I think that when people care that much about something like basketball -- we all know it's not life and death -- but the Kings have done a lot to unite this community, and there are a lot of hopes that can continue [if they're there]. How can you not root for that? SI.com

August 22, 2011 Updates

Scotty Robertson, a former Suns assistant coach, passed away last week of lung cancer at age 81 and was laid to rest Sunday in Ruston, La. Robertson was a Suns scout before moving to the bench when Paul Westphal took over for Cotton Fitzsimmons. Of course, those were the days before the Internet and 24/7 news cycles when a reporter could sit courtside with an assistant coach before games and talk basketball rather than having to worry about "blogging" or feeding the monster that is Twitter. Arizona Republic

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