NBA Rumor: Karl-Cousins Dynamic

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4 years ago via ESPN

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.

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.”

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.

“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.”

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.”

“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.”
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November 27, 2020 | 6:18 am EST Update

Real Madrid's Gabriel Deck leaving for the NBA?

Real Madrid lost star guard Facu Campazzo to the NBA (the Denver Nuggets to be specific) and there is a reported possibility that this may also happen with another player of the team. According to Marca, Real Madrid forward Gabriel Deck will be using the exit clause on his contract with “Blancos” and sign with an NBA club even next week if his team doesn’t present him with an extension offer really soon. There are some NBA teams that have “shown an interest” for the Argentinian player and he’s ready to make the jump, unless something changes with his contract situation with Real.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 7 more rumors
One longtime league executive said the past week was the most hectic of his career. In addition to the draft and free agency crammed together in an abbreviated offseason, there are so many other less-publicized tasks that teams are trying to sort through, from COVID-19 protocols to fans possibly attending games to scheduling. It’s wild to think that regular-season games are scheduled to tip off in less than a month.
For example, every day at 5 a.m., inside room 950 in the Gran Destino (where all the top-seeded teams stayed), Masai Ujiri would wake up, read his book, hop on the Peloton, and work out before heading down for breakfast. He thought nothing of his daily ritual until one morning, several weeks into the bubble, when he got a text from another former player of his: “Morning boss, you good up there?” The text was from Kawhi Leonard—Finals MVP with the Raptors, now a star on the Clippers—who was staying in room 850, directly below his old boss. Ujiri had been waking Kawhi up with his noisy workouts for weeks, but Kawhi was reluctant to say anything.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Ujiri told Kawhi that he would stop for the time being and joked that he would continue again when the Raptors met the Clippers in the Finals, messing with Kawhi’s sleep. Kawhi responded with the kind of trash talk that’s best read aloud in Kawhi’s dry monotone: “Haha, you know the saying ‘Don’t poke the bear’? I’m gonna call the NBA on you…get you out the bubble.”
NBA star Markelle Fultz is taking Wakanda Forever literally … he just got a foot-long image of the Black Panther tattooed on his thigh — and it’s AMAZING!! TMZ Sports has learned back in the summer, Fultz hit up “Ink Master” star Roly T-Rex about getting some ink done. And, with Chadwick Boseman’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement at its peak … the two got to thinking a “Black Panther” piece would be perfect.
November 27, 2020 | 1:58 am EST Update
And as is usually the case when the Celtics don’t turn a highly publicized rumor into a reality, we’re getting a reason why that deal never went through. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Celtics were never really that high on Turner. Boston apparently didn’t see him as a very big upgrade to their frontcourt, and was even exploring other deals to trade Turner had the deal with Indiana come to fruition. “Talking to people and reading the tea leaves as best I could, it really comes down to the Celtics didn’t want Myles Turner,” Lowe said on The Lowe Post Podcast. “I did hear from some teams around the league that the Celtics have done some preliminary research on what Myles Turner’s trade value would have been to them had they acquired him either in this deal or in a separate deal, and obviously didn’t like what they saw.”
Storyline: Myles Turner Trade?