George Karl only served as head coach of the Sacramento Kings for 112 games, but he made plenty of enemies during his brief time with the team — chief among them: DeMarcus Cousins.
When Karl signed on with the Kings in February of 2014, Cousins was one of the most dominant centers in the NBA — if not the most dominant — with averages of 24.1 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game in the 2014-15 season. Karl was also pretty accomplished himself, having owned the sixth-best all-time coaching record at the time of his hire. However, Karl had a reputation for being a “snake” amongst a few of his former players, and Cousins wasn’t exactly known for being the most coach-able player in the NBA, with the exception of the two seasons he spent under Mike Malone, who the Kings fired in December of 2014 — because when you have a competent head coach that has a good relationship with your star player, you absolutely have to fire him.
To no one’s surprise, Karl and Cousins’ personalities clashed almost immediately, and by the summer, Karl was already asking the Kings’ front office to trade Cousins out of Sacramento. Karl’s insistence on trading Cousins was a mere appetizer for the type of season the Kings would have in the 2015-16 season, which, at its low points, included both passive and flat-out aggressive altercations between Karl and Cousins.
The failed experiment mercilessly came to an end on April 14, 2016, but according to Karl, he and Cousins are planning on giving it another go in Sactown:
Big news! I’ve been in talks with the @SacramentoKings about a front office role and associate coaching position! We have worked out a deal that will be announced tomorrow. @boogiecousins will be re-joining me and the team at the same time! Let’s go Kings!— George Karl (@CoachKarl22) April 1, 2020
With how the days have seemingly all blended into one during this state-wide quarantine, it’s easy to forget that today, Wednesday, is April Fool’s Day. That means that Karl and Cousins won’t be making a triumphant return to the Kings in an effort to boost their chances of making a late-season playoff push.
For content purposes, that would have been incredible, but from a basketball standpoint, that probably would have been a step in the wrong direction for Kings. As maddening as Vlade Divac has been as an executive at times, he at least has more people skills than Karl seems to have. Additionally, Cousins, who’s coming off of two consecutive devastating injuries, wouldn’t be much help to the Kings beyond morale support from the bench.
No matter how bad things have seemed at the lowest points of this season, it can’t be any worse than the Karl-Cousins era ... right?