Southwest Notes: Cousins, Parker, Leonard, Canaan

Pelicans star DeMarcus Cousins regrets not leaving the Kings sooner, he tells Marc J. Spears in an E:60 interview posted on ESPN. Cousins clams he had an opportunity to go to another team when George Karl was hired as Sacramento’s head coach in February of 2015.

“My representatives told me I shouldn’t have stayed,” Cousins said, “but being stubborn and I guess you could say ‘loyal,’ I wanted to make things work. I should have left when I had the chance and avoided it all because they told me what would happen.”

He had a long and public feud with Karl until the coach was fired at the end of the 2015/16 season. Cousins finally left the Kings during last season’s All-Star break when he was traded to New Orleans. He will return to Sacramento for a game Thursday night.

“I’m excited to play in front of the fans and see their reaction, but as far as it being a revenge game, hey, I’m past it,” Cousins added. “I’m in a good place. I’m happy where I’m at.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Veteran point guard Tony Parker is headed to the G League for a rehab assignment with the Austin Spurs, Spears tweets. The team is holding its training camp in San Antonio, so it’s easy for him to do rehab work there, notes Michael C. Wright of  ESPN. (Twitter link). Parker had to give his consent for the G League assignment, adds ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The last health update from coach Gregg Popovich indicated that Parker might be able to play in December.
  • Popovich said Kawhi Leonard could make his season debut during a six-game home stand next month, according to Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. That home stand stretches from November 2 to 11.
  • Isaiah Canaan, who agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Rockets on Tuesday, could play tonight in Philadelphia, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Canaan played for Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni when he was an assistant with the Sixers and has an understanding of his approach. “I know his game and he knows our offense more or less,” D’Antoni said. “We did a lot of it up here. He just went through a training camp [with the Thunder], which I like. He’s already been playing. We need bodies. I could see him playing.” The Rockets are short on guards with Chris Paul sidelined by knee soreness.
  • The Pelicans became the latest team to announce a corporate partnership, teaming up with Zatarain’s, a New Orleans-based food company. The team will begin wearing the Zatarain’s logo on its jerseys.
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