A Royal Pain, Among the Many

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The immature rookie inched closer to behaving his way to the minors, the foundation of the future disclosed he is now aching emotionally as well as physically and that his All-Star plans have been adjusted accordingly, and stories popped from two very credible reporters that Geoff Petrie is close to being fired as head of basketball operations in a move the Kings would regret for years. Oh, and coach Paul Westphal is also close to being shown the door, but we’ll stick to what isn’t obvious.

The possibility is increasing that the Kings will have serious conversations about sending DeMarcus Cousins, the No. 5 pick in June and projected future starting center, to the NBA Development League. Kicking him out of practice hasn’t changed his sloppy focus, fining him hasn’t improved his attitude and, most recently, pulling him from the opening lineup Thursday against the Bucks for giving a choke sign to the Warriors two nights earlier hasn’t nudged him in the right direction. So, some quality time with the Reno Bighorns becomes a growing thought.

“If that’s what they feel is best, then I can’t do anything about it,” Cousins said. “But I don’t believe that’s happening.”

It may not be happening on Christmas Eve. But let’s just say the Kings definitely know a very public demotion is an option.

Cousins’ rookie season has been a series of failed attempts at getting the potential-filled big man to carry himself as a professional, or at least get to where his attitude is not overshadowing his considerable skill level. Even with the latest discipline still active, the benching against the Bucks, Cousins had another very public moment Thursday by walking past Westphal as the coach tried to give him a five coming to the bench. A minor moment almost with almost any other player at any other time, it was an obvious statement from Cousins.

Westphal was clearly unhappy with the snubbing. Cousins’ explanation later was that “He’s frustrated. We’re all frustrated. Emotions are just running wild. That’s how it is. It’s a tough time right now. Everybody’s frustrated.”

Everybody being an accurate assessment. By the end of the night, his agent, John Greig, issued a statement to Sam Amick of AOL FanHouse:

“I find it a curious decision to bench a productive young player for something that had nothing to do with the game’s outcome [against the Warriors]. I’m sure we all can agree that there are many areas of the Kings that need greater professionalism and improvement right now. I told DeMarcus to take it as an honor that such a significant amount of criticism is focused on his mistakes. Great players live with greater expectations.”

Bad move.

More than anything, Cousins needs to get away from controversy and self-inflicted distractions. This is a time for everyone around him to be dedicated to Cousins improving, not launching bottle rockets into Kings HQ, the coaching office and the locker room with “there are many areas of the Kings that need greater professionalism and improvement right now.” Agents back their guys, sometimes just for show, but time and place. Time and place. Cousins isn’t popular and this won’t play well.

Yes, it has been such a tough, tough road for Cousins, because “Great players live with greater expectations.” NBA teams placed such an unreachable standard in wanting him to play with sustained focus in the one season at Kentucky (which he didn’t), wanting him to show at the pre-draft camp in decent shape (which he didn’t) and wanting him to avoid three known disciplines before his rookie season was 30 games old. Which he didn’t.

Cousins’ best hope for the moment is that other issues will shift attention away from his development. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com and Amick both reported that Petrie’s job is in jeopardy, as well as Westphal’s, and that the Maloof family is considering hiring longtime WNBA coach/executive John Whisenant either as coach or for the front office. That would be the John Whisenant of zero NBA experience.

Co-owner Joe Maloof flatly denied Petrie was at risk, telling FanHouse that, “No, that’s not true. I don’t know where that’s coming from. We’re fine. We’re fine. We have a gameplan. Our future looks bright. We have young talent, (salary) cap space going into next year. (We have) cap space to make moves. We’ll stick together. We’re not going to go there. Not at all. Not true.” But for two well respected reporters, working for different outlets and from different cities, to have similar information at close to the same time is quite the coincidence.

In other news, Tyreke Evans said he will decline a spot in the Rookie-Sophomore game at All-Star weekend, if he is picked, passing up a chance to play in the event for the second season in a row in a continued attempt to nurse his troublesome left foot through a difficult season.

“I’m going to take All-Star weekend off and just try to rest it up,” he told NBA.com after missing 11 of 13 shots and totaling more turnovers (four) than assists (three) in a loss to the Bucks at Arco Arena, the latest blight for Evans and the 5-22 Kings. “I’ll talk to the doctors and see what I can do while I’ve got that time off.”

While the game is a ceremonial exhibition, and not even the same as skipping the All-Star game itself, deciding nearly two months into the future that he will sit out the showcase is a statement of ongoing concerns about plantar fasciitis in the foot. He said there are no current plans to rest during the regular season, after previously saying it would become a consideration if the pain continues, but Evans disclosed Thursday he is now burdened by a family matter. He did not disclose the personal issue.

40 Comments

  1. [...] has led, according to NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper, to a Kings “having critical discussions” about promulgation Cousins to their NBA [...]

  2. [...] has led, according to NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper, to a Kings “having critical discussions” about promulgation Cousins to their NBA [...]

  3. PK says:

    I am so tired of hearing negative comments about coach Westphal. in case you didn’t know he took the suns to the finals in the 90′s. When Charles Barkley came into the league he was just as immature and ignorant as Cousins and he found his path to greatness. also nobody can judge a coach better than a former player and Barkley has nothing to say but the best about Westphal. Geoff Petrie on the other hand is a great GM but his time in Sacramento should come to an end. The trade for Catino Mobley which sent Doug Christie to then Magic was not smart. Also the trade that sent Webber to the Sixers for Kenny Thomas, brian Skinner, and michael bradley was plain STUPID! why would you trade one of the best Power Forwards in the history of the game who averaged 20+ points, 10+ rebounds and 5+ assists per game? even though he was coming off a terrible injury he can still pass the ball, and in basketball a passing big man is a terrific weapon to have. Think of it as a passing and shooting Dwight Howard. the kings started 3-1 this season. that shows the talent is there. if they could come out every night and actually compete, they would be a playoff contender. there is no leadership. coaches are not players they can’t win games for their teams. ultimately it is the players who make decisions on the court and right now the kings are not getting it done at all. SACRAMENTO KINGS PLEASE LEARN HOW TO CLOSE OUT GAMES AND NOT BLOW A DOUBLE DIGIT LEAD GOING INTO THE 4TH QUARTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    im a kings fan and always will be
    purple and white foeva!

  4. tiredkingsfan says:

    What does any of this matter? Why does sacramento even have a team still? Who would ever watch them in the finals? Even if they somehow pulled a miracle out of there rears this year no one would care. Theres no kobe, theres no lebron, theres no garnett. Theres no big names that even want to come to sac because they no that sac will never be in the finals. It was all proven in 02 when they were cheated out of it all by the refs. The maloofs have no reason to care about this any more. Arco arena is small enough to nearly sell out even when theyre bad so why should they spend money on this team?

  5. carlos305 says:

    deamarcus acts like a five year old and fouls like crazy

  6. JKey says:

    I was weary of Cousins when I read all those articles prior to the draft. He was a risk that could either go one way or another. It seems he’s dictating what most of us have thought.

  7. S Herb says:

    Grow up…you signed your contract…glad ur havin fun…now do your job… Cuz it is a job…!!!

  8. rondo says:

    He needs his momma and his bottle! Cousin you need to man up. You was the guy who was raging Andrew Bynum what happened?

  9. HEAT136 says:

    demarcus doesnt deserve to play in nba.. trade him for fields.. i think landry fields and tyreke evans is a pretty combination….. and bring martin back…!

  10. [...] has led, according to NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper, to the Kings “having serious discussions” about sending Cousins to their NBA [...]

  11. Ive been a king fan for as many years as I can remember I still have got webbers and pejas jersys hanging in my closet I live 22 hours from the states flyin hahaha. Any way the kings need to do something with cousins for sure you got evans who has taken the team on his back,and cousins that has petantual with no resppect and care free he needs to be shipped or no playing time, Petrie needs to go he has done very little positive for the club in such a long time he make very bad decisions and trades stars for nothing or descent for scrap the kings suck cause of trade samual , Shariiff, thomas for webber yes cutino mobly snd artest were good but you need to ink them you dont trade and get rid of them and what was bibby for nothing as well there so many good pieces and you got bad trades you are the problem for the kings embarassing record I were my shirts in hope they get better but with a gm thats lost touch you could of chased ai or some othere talent but sat back and got worse . we have 1and 2,4 filled udrith and evans laundry are great and the 3 and 5 hoy bout mello he wants out he could change shipp 3 small forwards cousins and whatever the nuggets want thats a pretty good start then you still have laundry a men you are close if you look out side and do something productive . Rather than telling the fans rebuild . Im a buisness manager we get rid of what makes bad westphal need a team to respect him so he can direct them to a better team have a look at Thunder they got it done in 3 years . And the players play hard and respect the coach thats all you need

    Kings for eva

  12. Disappointed Fan says:

    The Maloofs make one bad move after another… and now they want to fire Petrie? Maloofs have singled-handedly dismantled the Kings over the last five seasons.

  13. Vinson says:

    Stephen Curry should have been ROY over Evans? What a joke Evans averaged 20-5-5 that is well deserving of being ROY. Curry didn’t do it, and just because Evans is having a weaker sophmore year doesn’t mean U can just give it to Stephen, Stephen is having a weaker year too.

  14. HOT_Streak says:

    if they fire Westphal. then the kings should Hire Larry Brown, he is suited to this kind of stuff and will make the young KINGS team and DeMarcus better. he did it in Sixer with Iverson and he has the reputation of doing it.
    HIRE LARRY BROWN if u KINGS fire Westphal

  15. Neiru says:

    Why do you think teams passed on Cousins in the draft..well exactly what’s happening right now. If he’s not careful he will not last long in the league. We have too many dumb immature players in the NBA. Ok, Evans won the ROY last year and has not improved..regressed actually. He had no jump shot last year and still has no jump shot. A good player keeps improving his game. The league knows how to defend against the guy and he’s now ineffective because he never fixed what he lacked in his first year.

  16. [...] the Kings could consider sending Cousins to the D-League to straighten him out. Scott Howard Cooper suggested the possibility which seems like a logical option. The move could weaken the team in the short term, but it could [...]

  17. [...] has led, according to NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper, to the Kings “having serious discussions” about sending Cousins to their NBA [...]

  18. [...] has led, according to NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper, to the Kings “having serious discussions” about sending Cousins to their NBA [...]

  19. [...] has led, according to NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper, to the Kings “having serious discussions” about sending Cousins to their NBA [...]

  20. KDR says:

    I agree that DMC should be sent to the D-League. He’s clearly immature, and doesn’t deserve to play in the NBA until he can stop being so obnoxious. For those who are defending Demarcus by claiming that he’s under pressure and it’s not his fault that he’s acting the way he is, that’s not a factor. Tyreke had the same, if not more, pressure last year when he took the helm of a 17-65 team. He quietly led the team that was in need of a strong player, and the Kings at least won 25 that season. DMC has no excuse to act the way he’s acting. Just because he has the reputation of an immature player doesn’t justify his immature behavior. He was supposed to be more professional in the NBA. So send him to the D-League. The Kings’ current season is hopeless at this point, anyway.

  21. Jon says:

    If they can’t get Harrison Barnes in the next draft, Kings are over..

  22. lol says:

    Cousins has been terrible, but I find it amazing that all of the focus and attention regarding the Kings´ struggles are being put on him and not Tyreke Evans. He isn´t playing at a Rookie of the Year level, not even a future all-star. If he wants to skip the all-star break, fine, but stop acting as if it´s all on a foot injury. Where´s the IQ? Where´s the leadership? Firing Paul Westphal and hiring say Mike Brown would be a great move since Evans has a similar style of play as that of LeBron. But stop protecting Evans. Let´s honestly say it: it´s starting to look like Stephen Curry should have been the Rookie of the Year.

    • Mike says:

      I agree with this post. Tyreke has definitely appeared to have regressed since last year. He has done a lot worse statistically offensively and hasn’t taken charge of the team at the offensive end like he did last year. Also, in the games I’ve seen this season, he has been abused on defense at times and doesn’t play with the same swagger as he did.
      Other guys also seem to have taken a step back that I thought were going to help a lot this year. Landry olny shoots jumpers now and doesn’t mix it up down low anymore. Jason Thompson looks like a clumsy, incompetent, scared player and Donte Greene seems like he’ll never live up to his potential.
      I don’t know what is wrong and Westphal obviously doesn’t either.

  23. dj says:

    D league? How about sending that punk to Europe or Turkey because he looks like and is playing like a turkey

  24. Omarisgay says:

    Trade demarcus Cousins to raptors for ed davis plz. And honestly, this doesn’t deserve to be on the frontpage of nba.com

  25. Bill says:

    Wow. The ROY is talking about taking the all star break off. There are twenty six games left before the break. Trouble in river city oh boy. I guess I am not missing too much since I am a dish network customer.

  26. [...] the Kings may have finally had enough. According to a report by Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, the Kings are considering sending Cousins down to the NBA Developmental [...]

  27. I am a fan of the boston celtics, but i am a kings fan too. not only because i am dominican just like Francisco Garcia, but also because that was the first team i was fan of when i started to wacht the NBA games. So i am a Celtics-Kings Fan. I dont think Pettrie should get fired but i think whestpahl does. Francisco was averaging like 15 PPG in the first 8 games or so and paul west just cuts his playing time instead of putting the veteran and captain of the team in the lineup to give a boost to a young team that really needs a veteran to take the lead. but anyway the kings need to make a major move for a good player to start playing the basketball that the kings are missing, also they need to let Evas heal so that he can go back to the form he was last year.

    Greetings from Dominican Republico and from my website RegionUrbana (Urban Region)

  28. Guy says:

    Cousins has the bad luck to fall in the hands of a bad coach that does not know how to mentor young players, the way he and the other players in that team are treated might harm their careers.
    The team has more talent this year then last year and still they are going from bad to worse.
    Coach Westphal has to go!

    • fedex says:

      ur kidding right…its never the coaches fault if a young player cant handle himself…its his job to stay disciplined not the coaches…he’s getting paid millions…he should perform up to par…not just slacking around and wait to be mentored…its his job not anyone else’s…its hard to think a guy 20 21 years old cant handle himself properly…if anything coaches are too soft on these players…they should grow up…cousins should grow up and man up

  29. [...] get an invitation to compete in the Rookie-Sophomores game on Friday night of All-Star weekend. And he told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com that when he gets it, he’s going to turn it down. “I’m going to take All-Star weekend off and [...]

  30. LakersWillWin says:

    Whats funny is that he did the “choker” the Warriors and then lost in OT.
    Guess you and your team were the chokers, huh Demarcus? I hate guys like him, he has a special “ring” around him and he radiates arrogance. I bet it is cool to be an NBA star but he needs a dose of reality, and I never watch D-League games ;]. Hope he gest the boot until he grows up.

  31. Senstar says:

    What’s wrong with the Maloof family. Why they are thinking of bringing another inexperienced WNBA coach or for the front desk who have zero NBA experience. Another bad move if that is there next move. The way kings are playing this season theres no doubt Maloof will have to fire coach Westpal and Petrie and make a major changes before they loose more of there fans like me. It’s shame I am from sacramento and I know have zero interest in kings game whether they loose or win. So what if Kings do win their next game, then they will end up loosing 5 or more games after that as it’s been happening this season for king’s which I had already predicted after they won the last game with Wizard. King’s need a immediate changes if they want more win games starting next year. Wait till june king’s may end being the worst team at the end of the season and no good players would even consider playing for kings.

  32. Soots says:

    Sending him to the D-league would be a huge smack in the face and extremely disrespectful to the players who are working their backsides off every day to try and make a legitimate career in the NBA.

    its the D-League not the punishment league.

    What would Hassan Whiteside think when Cousins rolls up as a punishment when 3 weeks ago Westphal said he’d sent hassan there because “we’re really high on him”

    err way to contradict yourself.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I understand that it looks really bad right now in Sacramento and that tensions are mounting (which is inevitable for a team with their record), but don’t you guys think you’re overreacting a bit? Reporters nowadays have a bad habit of looking for explanations or conclusions prematurely or where there are none to be found. Yes, the Kings are a bad, young team still in the early stages of their development, with many internal issues, but is it really that surprising that things are the way they are when you have two 20 year olds at the helm? And I am sick of all this talk about Cousins’ maturity issues. If he was in a different situation with a team that had a better record and more veteran players, you guys would be saying the exact opposite. Any team in the NBA with any type of need for a big man would gladly make room for Cousins if the opportunity presented itself. Have you even met the guy? Would you know what it’s like to have the burden of a whole team and city on your shoulders at his ripe age? Are you really that surprised that he has acted out in these situations? Ron Artest jumped into the stands, but now that he has won a championship with the Lakers, all people are talking about is all the good he’s been doing to help kids off the court. I don’t care how “credible” your sources are, reporters are paid to make things look explainable in retrospect. It’s a case where consuming news actually makes us dumber. By the way, Tyreke Evans did play in the Rookie-Sophmore challenge last year at All-Star break and won MVP. Get your facts straight before you make judgments based on your “credible” sources.

    • Zzanzabar says:

      @Anonymous

      Thank you well said. I am sick and tired of the reporters ‘take’ on various NBA situations. In a vain attempt to ‘scoop’ a story or just to stir the waters just to see what they can bring up, reporters tend to quote ‘sources’ (which you learn in Journalism school is another name for the reporter himself or another reporter) that state that some or another situation is brewing. You were spot on about Artest, reporters laid into him as some type of crazy malcontent and now he is the toast of the town. If the Kings were winning they would be saying how Cousins is slowly maturing into the game with a few ‘rough’ spots yet to be ironed out. Scot seems to be famous for this type of journalism, always some story about what is ABOUT to happen rather than what is really going on.

  34. Adantis says:

    The Maloof brothers only have themselves to blame. From bringing in Artest, to moving out Adelman, to the new arena issues, and they havent given Petrie and Westpaul much to work with. You dont see any other owners sitting courtside at games with pointless optimism hoping things will start to go their way. That franchise has become an embarressment.

    • Cody says:

      Adantis your right about one or two things but the rest your wrong. First thing thats correct is that the Kings did not make the right choices the years after getting rid of Addleman and maybe a year or two prior then that. But you cant say that the Maloofs havent given Geof Petrie much to work with, hes the one who made all those trades and everything. Hes the main one thats put us into a deep hole thats gonna take many years to get out of. Paul Westphal obviously heled the kings to a better record last year. I mean sure some of its on the players but some of these losses are on the coach to. If Westphal didnt have something to work with then the record would not have improved a years ago. I do however belive that we have far to many young guys on the team and we need a veteran that can lead on the floor besides Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih.

  35. bob says:

    that’s a great idea. in fact why wait? send him to the D-league now. i think he needs a hard dose of reality

    • Johnny says:

      The Kings need verteran players…trade for aaron brooks and bring in players like grant hill and jason richardson or something.