Pacific Notes: Karl, Cousins, Bass, Russell, Clarkson

Weeks before reports surfaced that coach George Karl was trying to trade DeMarcus Cousins and, subsequently, that the Kings were thinking about firing Karl, the coach remarked that he never felt he had a player who was off-limits for a trade. That comment was a mistake, Karl admitted to Kayte Christensen of CSN Bay Area (video link), and the coach apologized to Cousins, as CSN Bay Area’s James Ham notes.

But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl said to Christensen, in part. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote [that] we’re going to trade [Cousins].”

Time will tell if the relationship between Karl and Cousins will remain on solid footing, but winning would probably go a long way toward keeping both of them satisfied, as Akis Yerocostas of SB Nation’s Sactown Royalty recently suggested in a recent installment of our Top Bloggers series. See more from the Pacific Division:

  • Metta World Peace is with the Lakers during the preseason in large part to mentor Julius Randle, but if World Peace doesn’t stick for the regular season on his non-guaranteed deal, fellow offseason signee Brandon Bass will still be there for Randle, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times details. Fostering the development of the 2014 No. 7 overall pick part of the reason why Bass, too, is on the Lakers roster this season, Pincus writes.
  • Bass is also a fan of Lakers coach Byron Scott, for whom he also played at the beginning of his career with New Orleans, Pincus notes in the same piece. “Coach Scott was someone who inspired me to continue to work hard, to be the player I am today,” Bass said. “My first two years I didn’t play much, so he was very motivating to me, letting me know how hard I have to work to be a pro.”
  • D’Angelo Russell was skeptical when Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told him before the draft that the Lakers thought he and Jordan Clarkson could co-exist in the backcourt, but all parties seem on board with the idea now, notes Baxter Holmes of“We’re two totally different players,” Clarkson said. “He’s an excellent passer and I’m real aggressive and it just kind of comes together.” Clarkson is set to hit restricted free agency at season’s end.
  • The Clippers are so far struggling to incorporate the nine newcomers to the team, observes Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times.

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