DeMarcus Cousins and his head coach George Karl had their share of differences last season and those differences spilled into an offseason that appeared to feature a standoff between the two most important pieces of a retooled Sacramento Kings team.
Karl and Cousins have already been seen smiling together since then, but on Monday during media day it looked as if they had officially made up. Karl started it off by saying this about their relationship.
"I think it's solid to good … That's where I'm at with it. If I had to grade my guys giving me a summer, Cuz gave me an A+ summer. He gave me physically an A+ summer and mentally an A+ summer and I see a different player," Karl said. "I see a different substance of character in this guy right now. But it's not a light switch, you don't take it from here and go up to being excellent or great. It's going to take some time, there's going to be some falls and as a coaching staff that's what we've got to be ready for."
Karl had mentioned he wanted guys to be committed when the turmoil between him and Cousins had surfaced. This could possibly be why he brought up the summer Cousins has had. I asked Karl how much he and Cousins have communicated this summer and he had this to say.
"We've had probably two, 15-minute, longer meetings but most of the time it's just 'hey what's going on where are you at? Thanks for being here, what do you think about this what do you think about this?' I like communicating with all my players, but my best players are definitely important to be communicating with on a daily basis," Karl said.
Later in the day, Cousins sat down with the media. The initial question about his relationship with his coach resulted in: "That's my man."
Cousins followed up by agreeing with Karl that things are "solid" between the two.
"It's solid. We met in Vegas, we came to a head and we talked our differences out like men. At the end of the day, it's about winning, winning games. That's one thing me and him can agree on. We want to win … that's all that really matters, winning," Cousins said.
At media day you have to take statements like these with a grain of salt because positivity is always in the air, but this is a sign of progress. It also probably helps that Vlade Divac went out and boosted the talent pool on the roster. Ultimately, we likely won't know what kind of relationship Karl and Cousins truly have until the team hits adversity this season. But for now, it looks like it is all systems go.