12:44pm: Cousins was fined $50K by the Kings, a source tells Bill Lindelof of The Sacramento Bee.
10:31am: The Kings have fined DeMarcus Cousins, following a recent incident with a Sacramento Bee columnist, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Although the fine is said to be “substantial,” the exact amount isn’t known, and Cousins won’t be suspended at all by the team. Still, the Kings hinted that a harsher penalty could be levied if the veteran center continues to exhibit the same sort of behavior.
“The Kings have a clear set of standards of conduct expected of our entire organization. As a result of negative interactions with certain members of the media that were not corrected after verbal warnings, we have decided to impose a substantial fine,” the Kings said in statement obtained by ESPN. “If this behavior is repeated again we will be forced to consider further discipline.”
As we detailed last week, The Sacramento Bee published a video that showed Cousins confronting and shouting profanities at The Bee’s Andy Furillo after Furillo mentioned Cousins’ brother Jaleel in a recent column. The video also showed a separate incident in which Cousins refuses to answer questions from reporters until Cowbell Kingdom managing editor Leo Beas leaves the locker room.
For his part, Beas published a piece over the weekend detailing how Cousins’ “beef” with Cowbell Kingdom began, describing an incident in which the 26-year-old singled him out and began attacking him “on a personal level.” Beas writes that he received a text from another Kings player following that altercation, apologizing on the team’s behalf. According to the Cowbell Kingdom editor, Cousins also confronted him 15 minutes before a recent game as Beas was filming B-roll footage of Kings players running out of the tunnel.
“The Sacramento Bee only released a small portion of the altercation, which is positive for Cousins because if the full video had been released, then we would be talking about something else,” Beas writes. “I’ll just leave it at that.”
In response to The Bee’s story and video, Kings head coach Dave Joerger called the paper’s coverage “ridiculous” and defended his star big man, which Cousins appreciated, as he tells Spears.
“I think he understands where I’m coming from,” Cousins told The Undefeated. “I don’t really think it had anything to do with him trying to show that he has his player’s back. I generally think he understands where I’m coming from. … I respect him for speaking out. He doesn’t have to. He went about it the right way. He spoke out on it. I respect him for that.”