The Sacramento Kings maybe embroiled in a very sticky situation as second-year power forward DeMarcus Cousins reportedly demanded to be traded from the club during a discussion with Kings bench boss Paul Westphal on Saturday night. The “Sacramento Bee” and the “Associated Press” reported that Westphal sent the big man home on Sunday before the club defeated the New Orleans Hornets 96-80 ending a three game losing streak. The rumors filtered down to Cousins’s teammates who are all hoping he will stay with the club.
All sides are saying that the conversation between Westphal and the young forward took place as a result of the pounding took by the New York Knicks Saturday; losing the game 114-92. Reports are stating that Cousins felt as if he was receiving too much of the blame for the lopsided loss and then asked to be sent to another team. Meanwhile; the agent for the player John Greig says that his client has not asked to be traded.
Westphal released a statement explaining why he sent one of his team’s most talented players home before the battle with New Orleans. The head coach wrote “Whenever a new season begins, in any sport, there is great hope that everything will progress in only a steady, upward direction. As we all know, it seldom happens like that in this life! As coaches, we can only ask that our players do everything they can to improve themselves as individuals and teammates. If they do this with all their hearts, we live with the results. Everything that happens on a team does not become known to the public. This is how it should be. However, when a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely. DeMarcus Cousins has demanded to be traded. In the best interest of our team as we go forward, he has been directed by me, with the support of management, to stay home from the New Orleans game tonight.”
Kings General Manager Geoff Petrie told reporters that the club has no intentions of trading Cousins; however in a similar situation a few years ago Petrie caved in when Metta World Peace demanded a trade shortly after not opting out of the last year of his contract. Petrie and the team’s owners Joe and Gavin Maloof would end up trading the veteran to the Houston Rockets in a deal that did not help the Kings. For Sacramento fans who were looking forward to the second year player turning into a core member of the team; hopefully the Kings brain-trust will not blink first in this instance.