George Karl Rumors
That was the deal-maker, the Divac proclamation. The Kings were unwilling to invest an estimated $200 million in a Cousins extension and no longer content to half-step the rebuilding process. They were all in. The owners, the front office executives, the picks and the shovels. “In some respects, I was relieved,” Divac said. “When I got here (February 2015), and then Pete (D’Alessandro) left just before the draft, I wanted to study everything and not make quick decisions I would regret. I put myself into working with George (Karl), DeMarcus. But when I realized it wasn’t going to work, I thought, ‘Go young and start over.’ ”
Harrison Faigen: George Karl and Daryl Morey are here to watch the D-Fenders take on the Valley Vipers
Heck, former player and veteran NBA coach George Karl said teammates drank at halftime of games back in the ’70s. They actually thought beer was hydrating. No, seriously. But times change. Just as commercial NBA flights fell out of fashion and team charters became the rule, “alcohol kind of stopped,” Karl says. “In general, players have become very serious about their profession. Players today have a more dedicated attitude about ‘This is big money.’ They’re very aware of having a plan, a plan of development, a plan of commitment, a plan of growing.”
For the next 14 months, Karl and Cousins staged public warfare. According to multiple sources who played for and served on the staff of the 2015-16 Kings team, Karl regarded Cousins as the most disrespectful person he’d ever encountered in basketball. He was bewildered by the Kings’ unwillingness to lead a coordinated front to discipline him. To Karl, Cousins’ behavior was sucking the franchise’s entire reserve of energy — affecting the performance of the entire roster.