Kings suspend DeMarcus Cousins indefinitely for altercation with coach
Sacramento Kings general manager Geoff Petrie announced in a brief official release by the team that DeMarcus Cousins is being suspended indefinitely "for unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team," following last night’s verbal altercation with coach Keith Smart.
DeMarcus Cousins wasn’t spotted on the floor or the bench after halftime against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. Later, the Kings TV showed a playback of DeMarcus Cousins engaged in a heated argument with Keith Smart after the first quarter. It was Keith Smart who decided to send out a message by assigning DeMarcus Cousins to the locker room for the entire second half.
I won't share that right now, but it's just a conduct issue," Keith Smart said following the game on whether DeMarcus Cousins was being punished for talking back. "We're trying to set a standard here, and when guys move below that standard, things are going to take place. We'll just move on to the next game, and I'll make some decisions from there."
DeMarcus Cousins too expressed remorse and took responsibility for his actions after Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room, but I was wrong," said Demarcus Cousins. "I'm a player that definitely wants to win every night, and I'm an emotional player. That's never going to change. But I shouldn't have responded back.”
“Something was said, and I just should have stayed quiet. Is it a humbling thing? Yeah, I will say that,” continued DeMarcus Cousins. “I mean, I messed up and I apologize to my teammates for responding the way I did, and I'll move on from it… I grow from all of my mistakes.”
This marks the third time in a short period that DeMarcus Cousins has been suspended for on and off-court conduct during the season. DeMarcus Cousins was previously suspended one game by the league for hitting Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo in the groin during a 10th December loss. A post game altercation with San Antonio Spurs commentator Sean Elliott on 9th November also landed DeMarcus Cousins a two game suspension by the league.
However, the recent incident comes as a bit of a shock since Keith Smart has been Demarcus Cousins’ biggest supporter, especially after his allegedly difficult relationship former Sacramento Kings coach Paul Westphal, who was fired into the final seven games of last season.
The 22-year-old did not practice with the Sacramento Kings on Saturday and it’s still uncertain when he’ll return since DeMarcus Cousins is still being suspended indefinitely. However, DeMarcus Cousins is definitely out of the Sacramento home game against the Portland Trail Blazers, before again face the Trail Blazers on road Wednesday.