Latest On Kings, George Karl, DeMarcus Cousins

10:55am: Cousins and Divac have become close, notes SB Nation’s Tom Ziller amid his column on the Kings saga.

10:15am: George Karl will remain the coach of the Kings through this season, vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac said in response to a question from Lisa Gonzales of KCRA-TV in Sacramento, in spite of reports from Wednesday indicating that his job is in immediate danger (Twitter link). A league source who spoke with Ken Berger of disputes the idea that Divac asked Kings players if the team should fire Karl, as was reportedly the case.

Still, it’s much more likely that the Kings will fire Karl than trade Cousins, sources close to Kings ownership tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. The possibility exists that the Kings will part ways with both Karl and DeMarcus Cousins, Berger also hears. Karl’s contract has about $10MM left on it, and it’s fully guaranteed through 2016/17 with a $1.5MM partial guarantee for 2017/18. Cousins has a fully guaranteed total of nearly $51MM left on his deal, which runs through 2017/18.

Cousins has made it clear to Kings brass that he doesn’t want the team to fire Karl, sources tell Chris Mannix of However, the Karl-Cousins partnership was “doomed from the start,” a league source told Berger, and a person familiar with the team said to Berger that Karl has irritated the front office and players alike. Karl wanted to suspend Cousins last season for negative body language during timeouts, two sources told Mannix. Still, sources on both sides of the relationship between Karl and Cousins who spoke with Mannix believe that the relationship can be saved. Cousins had expectations of winning this season, and it was his frustration with losing that was the primary impetus for Cousins’ verbal excoriation of Karl after Monday’s loss, but Cousins believes that another coaching change won’t help the team in the standings, as Mannix details.

Several Kings players, including Ben McLemore and Rudy Gay, have expressed frustration about Karl, but the team’s meeting on Tuesday wasn’t out of the ordinary, sources tell Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of Cousins, who publicly apologized for reportedly yelling profanities at Karl after Monday’s loss, cited an air of positivity after the meeting, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Divac tried to calm Cousins during his tirade but said later that he’s OK with the star center’s outburst and that he doesn’t think Cousins was only pointing his criticism at Karl, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports details. Coaches and team officials met with the players after the players held a meeting of their own Tuesday, Spears also notes.

“I’m not sure a panic button was pushed as you all magnified it,” Karl said, as the ESPN report relays. “Team meetings and six-game losing streaks happen. The newness to our team? I don’t know. But I thought the last two days have been good for us.”

Karl admits he delegates more of his duties than before he endured a recurrence of cancer during his time with the Nuggets, but he disputes the idea that his energy is diminished, as Jones relays via Facebook. Kings management has reportedly been concerned with Karl’s stamina. Owner Vivek Ranadive is reportedly more interested than ever in Kentucky coach John Calipari, who remains intrigued with the idea of returning to the NBA, despite his denials, Mannix adds. “Rumblings” indicate that Kings minority owners, reportedly frustrated with Ranadive’s failure to consult with them on moves, “desperately” want to wrest control of the team from Ranadive, though they have little power to make that happen, Mannix writes.

How long do you think Karl will remain coach of the Kings? Leave a comment to tell us.

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5 thoughts on “Latest On Kings, George Karl, DeMarcus Cousins

  1. David

    Karl might last the season. But, Kings are no better than a 30-35 win team. Vivek is deluded and has zero basketball acumen. Hiring Vlade Divac with no GM experience is one of many flubs by this ownership. Kings will continue to be a poor to mediocre team.

  2. Guest

    Even if they do fire Karl, who would want to coach the team at this point? I’d say play the season out and figure it out in the off-season. The last thing this team needs is another in-season coaching change for the second year in a row.

  3. David Echard

    Kings are a mess. You have an owner, Vivek Randive, who is more concerned about how many celebrities are in the arena, than wins. Vivek hired Vlade Divac to be the GM? Vlade has no NBA personnel experience and hasn’t ever held a front office job in the NBA. Flopping will get you far in life. Divac assembled more talent, so the Kings would be more competitive. Early results are not favorable. You have a combustible and ultra talented Cousins, who is babied and coddled. If Cousins wants Karl gone tomorrow, consider it done. If this was Lebron, Durant, or Curry, I could understand to a point. But, Cousins has never had a winning season in his career. How many star players cuss out their coach in front of the entire team? That’s real leadership? In his defense, the Kings are a perpetual dumpster fire. Karl has zero control or say, so his time in Sac will probably end at the end of the season. The Current Kings lineup has the most talent since it’s halycon days. Problem is, it’s ill conceived. Well Intended, but will not result in anything greater than .500, at best. Vivek wants a quick ROI, especially for the new arena opening up next season. That’s unlikely with this current incarnation of the Kings. Expect more changes and more losses. That, until VIvek realizes that real experienced basketball personnel and Minds need to be hired to rebuild the team. In addition, to building a roster based on the coach’s teaching philosophy and not one of the owner or GM.

  4. Ed V.

    It’s same old story with this clown Cousins.He had Westphal fired because Westphal was going to use Fredette at point and Cousins wasn’t going to have a white boy running his team. They hired not so smart Keith Smart and he let Cousins run the show and inserted Minnie me Isiah Thomas because that’s what Mr.Franchise wanted. Cousins is always yelling at teammates and coaches. There has a long line of head coaches that have not lasted a year or two,who would want that job with that uncoachable baby as your socalled franchise player.


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