Jason Jones: FWIW DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t really tal…

Jason Jones: FWIW DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t really talk about George Karl on purpose, so I’m assuming he’s annoyed Karl brought his name up in these Twitter streets. Might have been a joke by Karl, who has joked about his relationship with Cousins on Twitter before.

More on Karl-Cousins Dynamic


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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.
By the account of this player, who's still close to several people on the team, along with the account of virtually every other source who spoke about him, Cousins has improved in this regard this season, even pricing in the high-profile incidents. "I'm not saying [Cousins] is perfect," says a teammate who requested anonymity. "But none of that stuff you heard about with George happens this year."
Also in drafts, Karl wrote that he likes Cousins personally but that he’s also “the most disrespectful” person he’s been around. He wrote that Cousins is not a winner, was out of shape and that he wanted to trade him. Karl shared few opinions regarding his time with the Kings in the book’s published version because he’s still under contract with the team. Still, Karl left Sacramento with many furious with George.
Cousins had no comment on the controversy surrounding former coach George Karl as excerpts of his new book “Furious George” become public. Karl has been criticized for writing that two of his stars in Denver, Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin, had problems because they did not have a father in their lives growing up. In advance copies, Karl criticized Cousins conditioning, attitude, said he was not a winner and explained why he wanted to trade him.
Jason Terry on George Karl: "First off, from having a first-hand encounter with the great George Karl, when I was a sophomore at the university of Arizona, I used to work George Karl's basketball camp in Seattle. I was at a banquet, George walked up, he approached me, shook my hand and then whispered over to me and said: 'you'll never make it to the NBA. You're never serious. You're a joke.' That's what he told me. Word for word. So I always kept that in the back of my mind, and every time I had to face a George Karl's team or when I've seen him, I always had a little extra motivation. That's just George. If you know George, you know, that's his personality. It has always been like that and I can see why guys had a tough time playing with him or for him."
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Of Cousins' relationship with former Kings coach George Karl and his staff, Rondo said there was "a lot of tension at first." "Too much tension. I've never witnessed or experienced a thing like that in my 10-year career," he said.
"There wasn't a group from the start of the season," said Belinelli. 'Karl didn't want Cousins and Cousins didn't want Karl as coach. It's pretty hard to play well in a situation like that. At the beginning it looked like Ranadive was the man calling the shots but then Divac came in, trying to be the peacemaker between Cousins and Karl".
Karl has plenty of company. The disconnect between Karl and Divac, and Karl and Cousins, is rivaled closely by the discord within the fragmented locker room. Apart from Rondo, Cousins has few friends among his teammates. Several players privately have complained to management about his mood swings and disrespect for those around him, including his coaches and in particular Karl.
A younger, healthier Karl – one who felt fully empowered by his organization – would have reacted to Cousins’ profane tirades by throwing punches or tossing him out of practice. But this is not the same feisty, in-your-face coach who transformed losing franchises into perennial playoff participants. He has a bad knee that will be surgically replaced next week. He has survived two bouts of cancer, and his vocal chords have been severely damaged by the treatment, reducing his voice to a whisper at times.
Despite the ups and downs in the Cousins-Kings relationship, and even considering the pressure to win now that comes with the scheduled opening of a new arena in October, an internal hope remains that this partnership can be fixed with yet another coaching change this summer (for the record, it would be Cousins’ sixth in seven seasons).
With Karl still expected to be replaced after the season, there is a belief that Cousins won’t be available unless the situation doesn’t significantly improve leading up to the Feb. 2017 trade deadline. He’ll have a long line of suitors then, too. After all, this is a talent-driven league and Cousins – headaches be damned – is a supremely talented player.
"That wasn't a suspension from the organization," Cousins said after the Kings' 108-99 loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday. "That was one from the head coach. There's a difference." Cousins totaled 31 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his first game following his one-game suspension. The two-time All-Star was suspended for yelling at Karl during a timeout during a 120-111 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 9. Cousins served the suspension during a 107-100 loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday. When told of Cousins' view of the suspension, Divac told Yahoo Sports with a huge grin: "I love DeMarcus Cousins. That is my only comment."
Cousins has often voiced his displeasure with Karl to the media this season. There were reports that Karl could be fired during the NBA All-Star break, but he is expected to coach the rest of this season. Sources close to Cousins told Yahoo Sports there is a belief that Karl has pushed several times for the Kings' star player to be suspended.
The Karl-Cousins relationship has been rocky, as many league observers predicted when Karl was hired in February 2015, based on Karl’s past clashes with star players and Cousins’ difficulty handling frustration. “I’m the authoritative figure, and when you lose games, frustration evolves in many different ways, and sometimes it crosses the line,” Karl said. “Unfortunately, I’ve had many (difficult relationships) in my career, and fortunately some of them turned out to be very, very good.”
Karl said he had not spoken to Cousins since Divac suspended him but that he would when he sees him. Starting Sunday against Utah, the two will have at least 18 more games together. Karl would not speculate on whether he and Cousins can move on from the latest incident. “I can’t answer that question,” Karl said. “Hopefully, we can communicate and it gets to a good place.”
Sean Cunningham: I asked if he thought incident with DeMarcus Cousins was something they could put behind them, George Karl said he couldn't answer that... But George Karl followed that with 'hopefully we can communicate and it gets to a good place.' He hasn't spoken to Cousins - will tomorrow
The Sacramento Kings have suspended center DeMarcus Cousins for one game for conduct detrimental to the team, according to Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Vlade Divac. Cousins will serve the suspension in Sacramento’s next contest against the Orlando Magic on Friday.
Chris Mannix: The source of DeMarcus Cousins's frustration, per sources: Cousins didn't feel George Karl was defending him enough to the referees in a loss to CLE.
"With Cuz and I," he said, "people that write about the love affairs in the league, it's never that much. And the people that write about all the crisis in the league, it's probably never as bad as they write."
"I just can't stand summer talk," Karl said, sitting against a wall in the corner of the Kings' practice facility. "I mean, free agency, all the money, teams think they saved their organization by signing this guy or making this trade. You have all these obnoxious predictions and it doesn't mean anything. We got off into that trade innuendo, and I think it hurt Cuz. And I think I made a mistake in making the comment that no player is untradeable. That's something I might believe, but I shouldn't have said it. So everything kind of snowballed in the wrong way at the end of last year."
Cousins said last week on ESPN's "Jalen and Jacoby" podcast that he and Karl don't need to love each other, they just have to work together. Divac's insistence that both are here for the long haul, and will be here when the Kings move into their new Golden 1 Center downtown next season, means Cousins has to be right. I asked Cousins after the Lakers game what he needed from Karl to make the relationship continue to work. "Getting him to lead these troops is the biggest thing," Cousins said. "Putting egos aside, putting personal goals aside. Our main focus is the team. That's it."
Storyline: Karl-Cousins Dynamic
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