A day after DeMarcus Cousins was suspended for confronting a member of the San Antonio Spurs broadcast team in a “hostile manner”, the Sacramento Kings refused to further explain the incident involving the 22-year-old center.
Cousins, who missed Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, did not meet with media following Monday practice in Natomas. Teammates and coaches avoided offering any details on what Cousins may or may not have said to Spurs’ color commentator Sean Elliott following Friday’s loss at Sleep Train Arena.
Geoff Petrie was also asked to address the Cousins situation, but the Kings president of basketball operations declined to meet with reporters. Cowbell Kingdom also reached out to the NBA for further clarity, but the league doesn’t release details of their investigations to such incidents, according to an official.
“He told me his story, his side,” Kings head coach Keith Smart told the media pack present at Monday’s practice. “That’s between my center and the coach of the Sacramento Kings.”
Cousins’ punishment has come on the heels of rookie big man Thomas Robinson‘s two-game suspension for elbowing Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko in a 105-103 win last Wednesday. Unlike Cousins, Robinson faced media and answered questions about his incident the day he was suspended. The Kings head coach didn’t believe Cousins was obligated to do the same on Monday.
“When Thomas goes to his house and he turns his lights off, do DeMarcus Cousins’ lights go off (in his house)?” Smart responded when asked why Cousins gets a pass from addressing his incident while Robinson didn’t. “No, they’re two individual people. So different guys handle things differently.
“He had a good practice today,” Smart added of Cousins. “Both of them did. And that’s a concern right now and how they deal with other issues is completely separate. That’s how I hope you guys will just deal with him on that and not try to make something more out of it because you don’t get exactly what you want from the player right now.”
With Cousins absent from media availability Monday, his teammates were left to bear the brunt of the questions regarding his suspension. Kings big man Jason Thompson wouldn’t go into detail about what fellow players said to Cousins after news of his punishment broke Sunday.
“It’s just unfortunate situations where you can’t say much,” Thompson said.
“That’s why I’m trying to limit as much as I wanted to say with the foul situation and stuff man,” Thompson added, alluding to a question he answered about fouling out quickly in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ last contest versus the Lakers. “You can’t say much, so that you don’t get yourself in trouble.”
The Kings will not punish Cousins with any further discipline. And Smart thinks with time, Cousins will address the controversy. But currently, there’s nothing that suggests the big man was contrite about his actions.
“That’s just between myself and the player,” Smart responded when asked if Cousins apologized for his behavior.
The Kings are gearing up to play without Cousins tomorrow night against the Portland Trail Blazers. However, the Sacramento Bee reported that the player’s association is appealing his suspension. If successfully lifted, Cousins might be available to suit up in Tuesday’s contest.