DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t trust coach George Karl, and they simply don’t get along, writes TNT’s David Aldridge in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. The relationship is beyond repair, Aldridge believes, and while he thinks Cousins is the best center in the game, the Kings should trade him anyway, he posits, offering a suggestion for a deal he thinks would help Sacramento and send a message that GM Vlade Divac and Karl will be around for the long term. The criticism of Karl’s energy level is unfair, and the Kings should empower one of the best coaches ever, Aldridge opines.
In other news around the Pacific Division:
- Numerous league executives doubt that Kobe Bryant will last the season, Sam Amico of SamAmicoBasketball.com reports. One unnamed GM told Amico that Bryant’s body can no longer hold up to the rigors of an 82-game NBA season. “I hope I’m wrong, because who doesn’t admire an old warrior — but he has nowhere to go but down at this stage of his playing career,” the GM said. “The body doesn’t want to be argued with, and it’s telling him it’s time to go.” Bryant played 36 minutes on Sunday, an indication that Lakers have two priorities regarding their aging superstar: allowing him to do what he wants, and winning during a supposed rebuilding season, Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com argues. By leaving Bryant on the court that long, coach Byron Scott showed that he will let Bryant play as much as he wants when he’s in uniform, Holmes continues. Bryant’s power over the Lakers organization is greater than ever and Scott, being one of his biggest supporters, will let him dictate the terms of his farewell tour, Holmes adds.
- Andrew Bogut was surprised when interim Warriors coach Luke Walton told the media he would return to the starting lineup as soon as Tuesday, Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group reports. The undefeated Warriors have utilized Festus Ezeli as the starting center while Bogut recovered from a concussion and Bogut has no problem with keeping things status quo, Leung continues. “Like I’ve said from the start, I’ve been starting my whole career, but I understand I missed [six] games there, and we won all of them,” Bogut told Leung. “Maybe the starters are used to having Festus there the first six, seven minutes and get their rhythm that way.”