Is it a coincidence that the Sacremento Kings are royally screwed up? And, in the last few days it’s gotten even worse as head coach George Karl and star center DeMarcus Cousins seem to be having a bit of a rocky relationship. The fun got started on Monday night, per ESPN.com:
In the locker room after Monday’s game, Cousins popped off for several minutes in front of the team, coaches and front-office executives and unleashed a profanity-laced tirade at Karl, a source said. Kings general manager Vlade Divac and assistant coach Corliss Williamson tried to calm down Cousins.
There was apparently a team meeting and then a players only meeting and everything was fine, but there were some sticking points, not the least of which was Karl thinking that Cousins should get suspended. Becuase how many of us could go on a public, profanity yelled rant at our bosses and not get any punishment for it?
But Divac declined and took Cousins’ side on the issue, according to Yahoo’s Marc Spears:
“As a [former] player, I know how it’s frustrating,” Divac told Yahoo. “It’s better to say something and show that guys care.”
Say what? I guess we know who wields the power in that relationship, right?
As Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated points out Divac’s inexperience as a GM isn’t helping anyone:
[R]efusing to allow Karl to suspend Cousins undercuts him in the locker room and Divac never should have involved himself in a meeting with players this early in the season. Players answer to the coach; when they think they can go around him, it cripples the coach’s credibility.
And then at the head of it all, is the owner, who Mannix does not mince words about.
Make no mistake: The Kings problems begin with [Vivek] Ranadive, who treats NBA ownership like a fantasy camp. From offering input to the team’s playing style—which Malone told me recently—to demanding the Kings pursue Rondo, who wasn’t being pursued by anybody else, Ranadive has become Exhibit A for what an owner should not be.
One would have thought that the Kings impressive win over the Detroit Pistons last night would have put a stop to all this, but this is where crazy happens. So, it’s in light of all this comedy of insanity. comes this from HoopsRumors which cobbles together a few reports:
George Karl will remain the coach of the Kings through this season, vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac said in response to a question from Lisa Gonzales of KCRA-TV in Sacramento, in spite of reports from Wednesday indicating that his job is in immediate danger (Twitter link). A league source who spoke with Ken Berger of CBSSports.com disputes the idea that Divac asked Kings players if the team should fire Karl, as was reportedly the case.
So, if you’re following along, the new owner fired a head coach that Cousins liked (Mike Malone) and replaced him with a coach he didn’t like (Karl), then traded away important pieces for the future so that he could overbid on Rondo, whom no one else was bidding on, and now there are rumors that Karl might get fired because he got cussed out by the Kings’ star player.
All this begs the question: NOW? This is where you draw the line in the sand of caring about what your players think?
Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow afternoon to see what happens next.