DeMarcus Cousins was rightly frustrated the other night when instead he should have been jubilant after hitting the first game-winning shot of his career. The Sacramento Kings negotiations to hire George Karl as their new coach have been very public and played out through the media, and Cousins' name was brought into it as a reason why the Kings were perhaps against hiring Karl. That rumor was propagated by various media sources and as such, Cousins felt the need to speak out for clarity lest more hall of famers call him out publicly for something he doesn't have the power to control. He released the following statement today to Yahoo! Sports and ESPN (as told through tweets from Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Stein):
DeMarcus Cousins statement: "I wasn’t consulted when the decision was made to fire Mike Malone and I’m not being consulted now." (Cont)— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 10, 2015
Cousins: "I just hope they make a decision soon and stick with it. George Karl is an experienced, proven coach ...."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 10, 2015
Cousins: "...and if that is who they chose to coach this team, I will support it. I do not like all these discussions in the media while..."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 10, 2015
Cousins: "...we have a coach in place. It is a distraction and not fair to Coach Corbin and this team."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 10, 2015
DeMarcus Cousins tells ESPN: "I don't fire coaches or hire them. Everyone knows I liked and respected Coach Malone. I didn't want (CON'T)— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 10, 2015
More Cousins: "I didn't want that to happen. I'm not involved in any coaching decisions. I've heard that George Karl is a great coach (CONT)— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 10, 2015
More Cousins: "If that is the direction the organization chooses, I'll support it. Out of respect for Coach Corbin, I hadn't planned (CONT)— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 10, 2015
More Cousins: "I hadn't planned on making any comments about what is out there. But at this point I felt some things needed to be clarified"— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 10, 2015
Like many fans, Cousins has been frustrated by all the leaks and reports coming from the media and the distractions that have come with it. Because he has been drug into these reports, he has even more reason to be upset. As a fan, I can appreciate the sentiments in his statement and feel much the same way. This ownership and front office has a bad problem of talking too much, either publicly or privately, and it makes them look even worse than if they had said nothing at all. There are so many voices in the room and no clear leadership. When Vivek and co. took over last year, they wanted to establish a culture change and get rid of the dysfunction. They got off to a good start but these past few months have erased a lot of the work that was put in place. Some of that is just inexperience all the way around. Vivek is a first time owner, Pete a first time GM, Malone was a first time coach. Hell, only Cousins and Jason Thompson remain from the team that they took over.
If management has learned anything this year, hopefully it's that they're not above reproach and that they need to learn from their mistakes. The Malone firing and the ensuing handling of it was a colossal mistake, and one that can't be repeated. The dragging in of Cousins' name to the media was another. The Kings are on shaky ground, and too many mistakes like that could cause the foundation to crumble. It's not a good sign when your best player has to make statements to the media to clarify his role in a decision that he's not even responsible for.
Someone needs to take charge of this team because right now it's a mess.