Kings Notes: Cousins, Divac, Karl, Casspi, Dukan

The Kings fined DeMarcus Cousins for his tirade after Monday’s game, though he didn’t aim the outburst directly at the coaching staff, team and league sources tell Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. That’s in contrast to a report indicating that Cousins specifically lashed out at George Karl. Vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac denies that he asked the players in a Tuesday meeting if the team should fire Karl, Voisin adds, and Divac has said Karl will be sticking around until the end of the season. That ties much of the executive’s fate to the coach, as Divac himself is on “little more than a one-year deal” with the Kings and hopes to sign a long-term deal this summer, according to Voisin. The Kings hired Divac in March, shortly after they hired Karl, but Divac recommended Karl to the Kings before they hired the coach, Voisin writes. See more from Sacramento:

  • If Cousins wanted the Kings to fire Karl, the coach would already be gone, sources tell Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher. The star center has made it clear to team management that he doesn’t want Karl fired, as Chris Mannix of reported.
  • Karl speaks more with the media than he does with his team, and players find his frank talk with reporters unnerving, sources tell James Ham of Players are “confused and frustrated” over Karl’s constant lineup changes, Ham writes.
  • Amid the turmoil, Omri Casspi is off to a strong start after re-signing this past summer, in part because of Karl’s system, as Matt Kawahara of The Sacramento Bee examines. “I think he understands flow; he understands the pace of the game,” Karl said. “He’s one of our faster runners and gets in the open court in a good way many times. And he knows how to play off of good players. He knows how to find open shots when Cuz is being double-teamed, or when there’s an isolation with Rudy [Gay]. He knows how to get open by figuring out the player the defense is tilting toward.”
  • The Kings have assigned rookie Duje Dukan to the D-League, the team announced. The undrafted combo forward has yet to appear in a regular season game for Sacramento.
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