NBA rumors have swirled around George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins. The two of them have barely been able to get along since the Sacramento Kings hired the veteran coach. Things came to a boil again recently when Cousins was suspended for a game. According to the Sporting News, DeMarcus is blaming Karl for the suspension. Cousins doesn’t believe that the Kings organization itself is punishing him, but Sacramento is entertaining the idea of trading away their ultra talented center.
On Saturday, the Sacramento Kings played against the Orlando Magic. They were without DeMarcus Cousins, their starting center and franchise player. He was serving a one game suspension. The Kings were forced to start Willie Cauley Stein. He’s the former Kentucky Wildcats star and a rookie. Cauley Stein normally backs up Quincy Acy at the power forward position, but Sacramento chose Willie to replace Cousins instead of Kostas Koufos.
Willie Cauley Stein was only good for 21 minutes. The 7’0″, 240 pound center was good for 12 points, six rebounds and a block. That’s not bad, but the Sacramento Kings are used to 27.4 points and 11.5 rebounds that DeMarcus Cousins provided from the starting center position. The Kings didn’t get a ton of production from their big men, as Quincy Acy was only good for 14 minutes, while backup center Kosta Koufos contributed just 24 minutes.
The Sacramento Kings would have had a much better chance at beating the Orlando Magic if DeMarcus Cousins was on the court. Dewayne Dedmon was the starting center, and there’s a very good chance that Cousins would have exploded against an inferior opponent. It’s one thing to miss a game because of an injury. It’s an entirely different thing to not be there for your teammates because of something that you did wrong.
As expected, the Sacramento Kings are only saying that the suspension was because of “conduct detrimental to the team.” No further details were given. Cousins was involved in a sideline confrontation with one of the Kings assistant coaches. DeMarcus also had issues with George Karl because he didn’t feel that the head coach did enough to protect him against the referee. Plus, there are reports that Cousins and team president Vlade Divac were involved in a heated argument in the locker room.
Vlade Divac has some tough decisions to make for the Sacramento Kings after the season ends. They’re sitting on a 25-40 record at the moment. The NBA Playoffs seem very much out of reach. Divac will get a head start on what the Kings will do next season. He has to decide if George Karl is going to remain the head coach. Though this situation with DeMarcus Cousins it not completely his fault, Karl has to share some of the blame for not being able to keep Cousins under control.
After deciding what he wants to do with George Karl, Vlade Divac will need to figure out if the Sacramento Kings should keep DeMarcus Cousins around. It’s very hard to trade away an All Star center in the NBA. There’s not a lot of them around. It’s also hard to find someone as good as Cousins coming out of the college ranks. If the Sacramento Kings were to make DeMarcus available, then expect interest from the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, among other NBA teams.
The situation involving George Karl, DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings needs to come to an end. Major locker room issues are poison to an NBA franchise. It often times trickles down to other people involved in the organization. Cousins is talented, but the Kings might need to give up on him.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]