Blogtable: Will DeMarcus Cousins or George Karl last longer in Sacramento?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Fallout in Houston? | Best comeback story? | Cousins or Karl in Sacramento?

VIDEOCharles Barkley voices his opinion on DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings

> DeMarcus Cousins or George Karl? Which one will still be working for the Kings at the end of the season?

David Aldridge, TNT analyst: I don’t really want to address this, ’cause so many Kings fans are so sensitive about any notion of getting rid of Cousins (the hate mail is still rolling in on my trade idea to move Boogie to Boston). But if I had to guess, I’d say that Vivek Ranadive sticks with his franchise center rather than the mercurial coach with more than 1,100 coaching victories. Maybe Vlade Divac can calm the waters and get these two to coexist, but he’s rolling that rock up a big, big hill.

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comI’d like to think that sanity prevails and the answer is both. But since you’ve given us a fork in the road and we have to take it (h/t Lawrence Peter Berra), I choose Cousins. It’s a player’s league and, as I’ve noted before, even if all was copacetic in Sac, the big man will be posting 20-10 games long after George is sipping umbrella drinks on a Maui beach with his pal, Don Nelson. And DMC knows it, which is part of the reason things aren’t copacetic. I don’t think Cousins will spend his whole career with the Kings – a change of scenery is inevitable when a young player is handed as much clout as he has – but I think Karl will beat him out the door in the short term.

Fran Blinebury, Cousins. He’s temperamental. He’s trouble. He’s also 25 and the best young big man in the game, at least until Karl-Anthony Towns gets a year or two under his belt. Besides, coaches usually take the fall and Karl has been on shaky ground with the Kings almost from the moment he arrived. Can we change the timetable on this question to Christmas? Or even Thanksgiving?

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comI’m tempted to say neither. I do think that is possible. But at this rate, with Cousins reminding everyone how good he can be, the Kings are either going to refuse to part with him or set the asking price so high that no one will come close to matching the offer. Any outcome is far from playing out. While firing the coach is always easier than going nuclear with the roster, and therefore Karl is atop the leaderboard for Most Likely to Go, Sacramento does not want to dump him. They were looking for a reason to fire Michael Malone. They’re looking for a reason to keep George.

Shaun Powell, Cousins, because Karl is replaceable. Still … rarely would I ever side with a coach over an All-Star big man but my hunch says the Kings will never flourish as long as their best player is toxic. Look, Cousins has good intentions; he’s competitive, hates to lose and in some ways a perfectionist. But if he hasn’t gotten a grip on his emotions by now … what, should the Kings bide their time until he reaches maturity at age 30?

John Schuhmann, NBA.comI would guess that it would be both, because it would really be embarrassing for the Kings to need to hire another coach before the season is done. But Cousins is still more likely to be around, because giving up on a coach is easier than giving up on a star.

Sekou Smith, Cousins. Talent over everything is the motto of most teams. And Cousins has proved to be as good or better than any other player in the league at his position. That said, Cousins and Karl could find a way to make this work. I truly believe that to be true. But it would take some serious humbling on both sides. There is way too much pride and ego involved right now. Cousins will not be denied this season, though, and the Kings can choose to ride his momentum into the future or make a colossal mistake and side with the tutor over the talent.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.comThe Kings appear to be showing little interest in supporting Karl. If they go onto fire him, it’s a good bet that they will be casting him as a victim of their own mismanagement. In the meantime they’ve made it clear that Cousins is their priority. But are they bringing out the best in their best young player — or just placating him?

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: The answer should be DeMarcus Cousins, who is one of the best young players in the NBA, signed to a long-term contract that is affordable, and is exactly the type of building block every team in the NBA should want to construct around. So why would the Kings deal Cousins? The answer, of course, is that the Kings have a recent history of doing things people haven’t anticipated. I’ll just say this: If it came down to choosing between Boogie Cousins and Coach Karl, I know which way I’d choose. Then again, it ain’t my team.


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  14. Laker Hater says:

    Keep the player before the coach. Outsiders that don’t know Sacramento can see how Karl cant even yell from his cancer. Most of the players did not want him before he came to Sac. Malone was our guy and a inexperienced Vivek wanted him gone when Kings had injury issues with Rudy and Callison then Big Cuz went out. Malone probably get coach of year in Denver. Karl doesnt fit our players. Yes he is a Hall of Fame coach that needs to retire. Hope Karl goes, sad we dont have Malone anymore.

  15. DrPhill says:

    Pretty obvious they need to trade cousins, but they wont. With Cousins the kings havent got anywhere so clearly he isnt going to lead a team to the playoffs let alone a championship!!

  16. GoLA says:

    They should trade cousins to the Cavaliers in exchange for a second round draft pick or Philadelphia for cash and a 2030 draft pick.

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  18. donp says:

    cousins million dollar game and a ten cent brain. get a clue and try to learn as much about the pro game as possible from a coach that will roller skate into the hall of fame. be a team player and quit trying to stuff the stat sheet and maybe you will actually win something someday. otherwise you are no good on anybody’s team.

  19. Samenez says:

    Cousins is a heck of a player. Unstoppable. But his attitude unfortunately is not good. Not good for himself, not good for the NBA. George Karl is a heck of a coach. ALWAYS have had and still have respect for him. I think NOT letting Karl do what he wants is a bad mistake for the TEAM. Players are not bigger then the League/Game. Players need to have respect for the game AND the league.

  20. Ashok Mudrakola says:

    Cousins is not a Kobe Bryant nor a Lebron James. Where as George Karl is a coach who took the unnoticed team to the conference final. Better Cousins leave his ego and follow the coach like a small kid. Then only we can the performance of the team is judged in a complicated Western conference.

  21. I bet Coach Thibs could coach Boogie. Send Coach Karl back to Denver. That was a great fit to me.

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  24. rodney erkson says:

    George Karl is a great coach and person and without question should remain in Sacramento. Cousins is a man now, and needs to act like one. Coach Karl had a lot of the same issues with Carmelo Anthony in Denver. Denver is still regretting parting with George and the team and state wish without a doubt he was back here. Rodney from Denver

    • DH says:

      George Karl has always had problems not being the biggest show in town, he has squabbled with almost every star and eventually forced them out of town to sate his own ego, he loves the attention and you can be sure he only took the job back at the NBA level because he wants that all time wins record and nothing else, he doesn’t believe in the roster and has been trying since the beginning to get rid of cousins, look at his track record (got kemp out of seattle, got ray allen out of milwaukee, got melo out of denver) he gets what he wants… I sincerely hope he does force cousins out of town, there is a certain green team with a war chest of picks and prospects that could seriously help reboot the kings, the C’s could really use a franchise talent at center as well.

  25. vern says:

    Well, the Knicks will accept him (Cousins) with open arms.

  26. skunk says:

    i love karl, he’s a genius but cousins has and always will need a big man to coach him. mchale. that simple.