ABC10's Sean Cunningham interviewed DeMarcus Cousins yesterday following a rally he hosted at Florin High School, and it was our first opportunity to hear Cousins comment on his past, present, and future with the Sacramento Kings since the season ended, and George Karl was fired.
Cousins on going in to another offseason without a head coach, uncertainty, etc. -
It’s rough, it’s unfortunate, but we’ve made it through past storms before, and I know we can make it through this one. Stay strong, stay together, just keep fighting, keep pushing.
Cousins doesn't come across as someone who wants out of Sacramento, which a lot of folks predicted would be the case following another disastrous season. I had my own doubts about his relationship with Vlade Divac following his decision (or minority ownerships decision, depending on who you talk to) to keep Karl on board after the All-Star break, and if you've been paying attention to Divac's last few media sessions, he's sort of cooled on the 'DeMarcus Cousins is our guy' sermon he had been preaching last summer. In fairness to Vlade, he opened up to Sam Amick yesterday where he was once again pro-Cousins, but when poked by the media about a potential Cousins trade, Divac has been less-committal than he had been in the past. Some of his comments have even approached the famous 'no player is untradeable' stuff George Karl was saying last offseason, but that sort of goes to show how a similar sentiment can mean two different things depending on the trust you have in where it's coming from.
Anyway, you could also claim that this is just some canned response that can be filed under 'what was he supposed to say?', but it sounded genuine to me.
Cousins, on if he shared that same message with Vlade Divac in their exit interview -
We didn’t have one [exit interview]. Nah, me and Vlade didn’t. We’re on the same page man. We know what we have to do moving forward, we know we have a lot of building to do. We don’t have to talk about it, we’re on the same page.
It was kind of an awkward exchange. See for yourself and make your own judgement. I thought Cousins came off a little embarrassed that they hadn't talked, or surprised that Sean would think Vlade is the type to sit down and have a formal interview, but Cunningham thankfully followed up, asking if the above comment was positive, to which Cousins responded -
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.
So, nothing to see there. Probably. If I had my druthers, I'd prefer Cousins and Divac have a formal exit interview, but maybe I'm nitpicking. You can never have too much communication. Also, it had me wondering if the Kings had, or will have any exit interviews. I'd suggest they do that, but I'm not a front office executive.
Lastly, Cunningham asked Cousins his opinion on what a good coach would bring -
Accountability, from the first guy on the roster to the last guy on the roster. Accountability. Structure. A common goal, a goal that everybody has in mind. No personal vendettas. It’s about winning, period.
I don't know how to handle that last comment. I've been, and still am, on the 'let's give this Cousins thing another season' side of the fence, but he needs to follow that same code he laid out for the Kings' future coach. He's not without fault for how last season went, and he didn't say as such, so I'm not trying to imply that he hasn't, isn't, or won't be accountable for his portion of the blame pie we keep talking about, but I'll say it for him - everyone needs to be better next season.