Kings have issues
Old 11-13-2010, 07:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
is the baby faced assassin

Join Date: May 2008
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Kings have issues

The former Kentucky big man who was taken fifth in the June draft and who has a reputation for volatility did indeed receive a $5,000 fine approximately a month ago, when -- as sources close to the team told FanHouse -- he essentially barked too loud and too unprofessionally at the team's strength coach, Daniel Shapiro, over a matter of personal fitness.

The sources say this came just days after the team's patience level had already been tested, as Cousins and assistant coach Truck Robinson -- the former player whose charge is to work with the team's big men -- had a loud, pride-filled and brief disagreement during practice. The more recent and relevant development came on Wednesday night, when Cousins' frustrations reached a new high at halftime of the Kings' home game against Minnesota.

Kings coach Paul Westphal, according to the sources, targeted the rookie in his halftime discussion with the team and largely blamed his selfishness for the team's 51-45 deficit. Cousins, in turn, was left shaking his head at what he deemed an effort to use him as a scapegoat for the night.
Put simply, and I'm speaking from experience here, teammates of Tyreke Evans don't take kindly to the finger-pointing when so many feel the finger isn't pointed his way nearly enough.

For all of Evans' dynamic talents and incredible skill, he remains a polarizing figure in-house because of the way he has been handled since coming on the scene last season. He was pitched as a point guard, then subsequently gained a reputation among scouts, front-office and coaching types as someone who -- no matter how many times he toes the company line -- only passes if he has to most of the time.


The challenge with Evans is that he's the polar-opposite of Cousins in terms of personality, quieter and far less prone to blow a fuse but equally capable of ignoring his coach with a far less fine-able style. There are reports out of practice that Westphal has grown more stern with Evans, getting on him hard when his fingers are too sticky and sending the sort of messages that weren't sent early on last season. The next step is doing it in the games, when even the most casual NBA observers look at the screen and wonder why the offense is being so shoddily run.

Westphal's challenges don't end with Cousins or Evans, either. Third-year forward Jason Thompson is reportedly being shopped, which I can assure you is just fine with him considering his current lot in this Kings life (specifically, the fact that he's being asked to play small forward). Free-agent-to-be Carl Landry entered the season, according to sources close to him, disappointed that the team didn't add any high-scoring free agent wingmen and is now frustrated not only at his poor play but what all this drama means for his future.
Kings Issues Don't End With DeMarcus Cousins -- NBA FanHouse
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