Posts Tagged ‘Jason Jones’

Cousins’ Routine…Ba-Dump…Old Joke

 

HANG TIME, Texas – Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A priest, a rabbi and DeMarcus Cousins are sitting on a bench…

Yeah, it’s getting to be the kind of stale old joke that sounds like it came out of the Catskills in the 1950s.

Cousins is at the center of another flap. This time the Kings’ leading scorer and rebounder was left in the locker room at halftime Friday night following a verbal run-in with coach Keith Smart.

As a result, Cousins has been suspended indefinitely for unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team,” according to Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie.

Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee delivers the details that were available:

“It was conduct detrimental to the team and we left it at that,” Smart said without elaborating.

Smart did not say if Cousins would play Sunday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

“I’m going to focus on (Friday night),” Smart said. “And then I’ll move forward to the next day.”

Cousins said he “was in the wrong” during halftime.

“What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room, but I was wrong,” Cousins said. “But what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.”

Cousins then was asked what he could do to avoid further situations where attention was on his actions off the court.

“Don’t talk back,” Cousins said. “That’s the thing. I shouldn’t have responded back. Should have accepted what was said and stayed quiet.”

Of course, nobody has ever questioned the raw talent and ability that Cousins possesses, only the maturity and professionalism that he doesn’t.

As a potential foundation-type player on the front line, it was understandable that Kings management sided with Cousins and gave Paul Westphal the ax when the two of them couldn’t get along.

There may also be legitimate reasons to question whether Smart (73-134 career record) has the right stuff to be a successful coach in the NBA. But the main reason he was brought in to replace Westphal and had his contract extended was because he could supposedly relate to Cousins and steer him correctly and now that plan seem to have jumped off the tracks.

Already this season, Cousins has been suspended two games for confronting Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott after a game, suspended another for whacking the Mavs’ O.J. Mayo in the groin and ejected in the third quarter of one more game for arguing calls by the refs. Now this.

More from Jones:

“We’re trying to set a standard for all of our players and all our guys who are here,” Smart said after the game. “When guys don’t fall in line to that we’ve got to move on.”

Smart intends to maintain this stance, too. You have to assume that means penalties will escalate if the behavior does not change.

Smart wouldn’t address whether Cousins would play in Sunday’s game against Portland. If he does, another blowup could mean suspensions for conduct detrimental to the team.

Cousins doesn’t believe Friday’s incident will be held over his head and that he and Smart can move past the incident.

“It happens all the time between players and coaches,” Cousins said. “I believe we’ll talk about it, get past it and we’ll move forward.”

Cousins can only hope. All of these shenanigans are overlooked if he were delivering like the punchline in the Kings’ lineup. But after a breakout season a year ago, Cousins has not only reverted to troublesome form with his behavior, but his play has deteriorated as well, not concentrating on defense and taking far too many bad shots.

Could Cousins simply be tiring of the losing atmosphere in Sacramento and trying to force the Kings to ship him out of town?

We can only assume that he knows the rest of the NBA gets LeaguePass. The offers coming in at this point for a mediocre malcontent would hardly make the Kings want to jump at this point.

So DeMarcus Cousins walks into a bar with a parrot on his shoulder…

You’d think at 22, he’d be too young to become an old joke.

No Extension For Tyreke Evans?





HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – Could Tyreke Evans go from Rookie of The Year to not even receiving a contract extension on his rookie deal from the Sacramento Kings?

It appears so. Three years into his career, Evans has shown flashes of All-Star potential, but he’s also been moved from the point guard position he played during his rookie season. A career 18.2-point scorer, Evans saw his job as starting point guard eventually go to rookie Isaiah Thomas this season. Evans did start 61 of 63 games this season, but was in an off-guard position once Thomas took the point guard reins.

Now comes word, via Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, that Evans will probably not get a contract extension from the franchise this summer when he becomes eligible for one. Once thought to be the future face of the franchise, Evans has ceded that position to DeMarcus Cousins.

With the fifth pick it the Draft, the Kings are expected to take a player that could actually make Evans, and others, expendable:

The team’s leading scorer is guard Marcus Thornton, who has three years left on his contract and is due approximately $24 million.

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About Last Night: Perfect No More

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – If you’re not a big believer in signs, the Heat and Thunder losing their first game of the season on the same night means little to you.

But if you’re as fixated on these sorts of things as we are here at the hideout, those two teams losing on the same night makes us feel stronger than ever that our preseason prediction that they will battle for the Larry O’Brien trophy is on the money. (Yeah, we’re reaching a bit but the whole Mayan calendar thing has us a bit spooked.)

The Thunder losing to the Mavericks and the Heat losing the Hawks won’t rank as the day’s top news, however (sorry T-Mac). That honor goes to the fine folks in San Antonio and the Spurs, who suffered a much bigger loss last night when Manu Ginobili broke his hand in a loss to the Timberwolves.

Catch up on all of last night’s action in the Daily Zap:

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Whatever struggles the Mavericks might be experiencing early on this season, Dirk Nowitzki seems to be immune.

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Past, Present Staring Down Kings

HANG TIME TEXAS, Y’ALL – These are busy, frantic times in the King-dom of Sacramento.

For a minute or two, try to forget all of the problems in trying to get a new arena and the rumors that the franchise is still headed to Anaheim. For now, there are other immediate concerns:

First off, how to replace forward/center Chuck Hayes, whose free agent contract was voided when a physical exam revealed a heart abnormality?

Matt Kawahara and Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee had the news:

A projected starter who signed a four-year, $21.3 million free-agent contract Dec. 9, Hayes was expected to play a key role in the Kings’ offense and serve as a physical, vocal presence on defense.

“We’re not going to be able to replace him,” Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie told The Bee on Monday afternoon. “He was one of the best defensive frontcourt players in the league and a really unique player we thought would facilitate some offense.

“We’ll take a look at what we can do, but it’s not going to be the same.”In a statement released Monday, Petrie said notifying Hayes of the failed physical was “one of the most heartbreaking moments of my professional or personal life.”

Hayes has undergone further testing on his heart, but specifics about his condition have not been released. Messages left for Hayes’ agent Monday were not returned.

Monday evening, Hayes posted to his Twitter account, “Thank you everyone for your prayers and support, taking the next step to get healthy and back on the court, much love.”

Perhaps fortunate for the Kings front office is the fact that one of their own, who played in Sacramento last season, is still out there on the free agent leftover pile.

As the Kings look for ways to replace Hayes, among the available free-agent big men is Samuel Dalembert, who played last season in Sacramento.Asked about the possibility of bringing back Dalembert, Petrie said: “We’ve stayed in touch with him periodically along the way. We’ll see what develops here in the next few days and go from there.”

While scrambling to fill cracks in the immediate future, the Kings would be wise to take time out to honor their past in the aftermath of Peja Stojakovic’s calling it a career by hanging his retired jersey from the rafters.

As Victor Contreras of the Bee points out, those 7 1/2 seasons that Peja spent in Sacramento were special and usually spent performing at a very high level.

He goes out as one of Sacramento’s all-time favorite Kings, a player whose No. 16 should hang from the Power Balance Pavilion rafters soon alongside the jerseys of former teammates Chris Webber (No. 4) and Vlade Divac (No. 21).

Stojakovic was the stubbly, baby-faced assassin on the Kings’ original Fab Five. Webber was the muscle inside, Jason Williams thrilled crowds with no-look passes, Divac played point-center, and Doug Christie supplied the defense.

But it was Stojakovic who killed teams from beyond the arc. He was in constant motion, flowing along the baseline like a shark, scoring on back-door feeds and hitting threes from the corner.

Worth remembering also? Peja’s fourth place finish in the 2003-04 MVP voting (24.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 48% 3-point shooting) was just as high as Webber ever finished in his best season of 2000-01 (27.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 4.2).