Pacific Notes: Karl, Griffin, Cousins, Watson

The fast pace of the Kings under George Karl has perturbed players and management, and concerns exist over the effect of the two-time cancer survivor’s health on his ability to coach, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. It’s hard for players to hear Karl, who endured neck and throat cancer while with the Nuggets, over the din of NBA arenas, Amick writes. Owner Vivek Ranadive reportedly hired Karl in part to run an up-tempo offense, so it’s odd to see pace become an issue. Still, the Kings have apparently committed to keeping Karl, in spite of reports that they planned to fire him.

“If they let George do his job and coach this team like he’s done in the past, they will get what they are both always seeking, respectability as a team and organization,” Karl’s agent, Warren Legarie, said in a statement to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

See more on the always-entertaining Kings amid the latest from the Pacific Division:

  • Blake Griffin has been suspended for four games without pay and fined him the equivalent of a fifth game check for reportedly hitting assistant equipment manager Mathias Testi, an incident that left Griffin with a broken right hand, as Dan Woike of the Orange County Register reported and the Clippers shortly thereafter confirmed (Twitter links). It’s officially a team suspension, Amick reports (Twitter link), so the Clippers won’t reap any tax savings as they would have if it were an NBA suspension. The team suspension also allows the Clippers some leeway in determining whether it’ll start before or after Griffin is fully recovered from his hand injury, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times points out (on Twitter), though the team has no plan to do so, Woike relays (via Twitter).
  • The Kings still aren’t seriously considering any DeMarcus Cousins trade before the deadline, but they’re expected to decide soon whether to use the months after the deadline to “lay the groundwork” for a later trade of the star big man, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. That process could take a while, Deveney writes, pointing to Minnesota’s months-long effort to find a suitable Kevin Love deal in 2014.
  • Interim Suns coach Earl Watson spent only one season with the Spurs organization, as a D-League coach last year, but San Antonio’s philosophy has a clear influence on the style he’s bringing to Phoenix, notes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
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