Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and coach George Karl called their relationship “solid” during the team’s annual media day on Monday, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports. While Karl reportedly wanted to trade Cousins after he took over as the head coach late last season, they seem to have ironed out their differences, Jones continues. Cousins called Karl “my man” and said their offseason meeting in Las Vegas was vital to establishing a relationship. “When we met in Vegas, we came to a head and we talked our differences out like men,” Cousins said to Jones. “And at the end of the day, it’s about winning games. That’s one thing me and him can agree on – we want to win and that’s our goal and that’s all that really matters, winning.” Karl gave Cousins an A-plus for his offseason training and said Cousins has shown maturity, Jones adds. “I see a different player,” Karl said. “I see a different substance of character in this guy right now.”
In other news around the Pacific Division:
- Kobe Bryant feels more uncertainty about this season than any other in his career with the Lakers, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Bryant is unsure how the team will blend together after the franchise made a number of offseason moves and drafted D’Angelo Russell as their point guard, Medina continues. “It’s a big question mark,” Bryant said during the team’s media day. “We have a lot of young guys. It’s a good mix. We have some veterans as well. But guys have never played together before, so it remains to be seen.” Bryant is also unsure how he fits into that mix after enduring three season-ending injuries in as many seasons, Medina adds.
- Small forward Harrison Barnes claims that extension talks with the Warriors are “going well,” Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Barnes reportedly turned down a four-year, $64MM offer but expressed confidence during the team’s media day that a contract can be finalized before the Nov. 2nd deadline, Simmons continues. GM Bob Myers said last week that he expects the negotiations to go down to the wire, Simmons adds.
- Veteran power forward Nikoloz Tskitishvili, who is in training camp with the Clippers, feels he’s ready for the NBA again after playing in six countries over a nine-year span since leaving the United States, according to Rowan Kavner of Clippers.com. “I’m just enjoying what I do,” he said to Kavner. “With this mentality, I got better. All of a sudden, I was like, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’ I think I’m ready for it.”