Sacramento Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins got into an altercation with teammate Donte Greene after Cousins didn't get the ball on the final possession of a 99-97 loss to Oklahoma City Saturday night, two league sources said, with one source adding that Cousins was not allowed to join the team for its flight to Phoenix for a game Sunday night.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If you haven’t figured it out, something is wrong with the Sacramento Kings.
It’s bigger than who takes the last shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It’s bigger than coach against player. It’s bigger than two blue-chip talents losing their cool after a tough defeat.
The Kings are in a power struggle: Tyreke Evans versus DeMarcus Cousins. Last year’s Rookie of the Year against the temperamental but talented fifth overall pick from the 2010 draft.
Evans is used to having carte blanche or total freedom with the Kings’ offensive sets, while Cousins, who has played well of late, has recently been voicing his displeasure with this arrangement.
Take last night’s loss to the Thunder. Cousins wanted the ball for the final shot. He was unhappy with teammate Donte Greene for passing directly to Evans, who missed a game-winning three-pointer.
Cousins let Greene know how he felt after the play on-court and in the locker room before post-game interviews. Cooler heads did not prevail on the team plane, where an altercation between Cousins and Greene took place.
For now, Cousins has been removed from the team. It remains to be seen if this is a short or long-term punishment.
Here’s what we know: something is off with the Kings. Perhaps it’s the team’s young stars. Perhaps it’s Coach Paul Westphal. Perhaps it’s the team’s uncertain future in Sacramento. Perhaps it’s all three.
However, it’s time for veteran executive Geoff Petrie to take control. Enough is enough. If Westphal must go, so be it. If Cousins must go, so be it.
Things are far trickier with Evans. Yes, he’s a potential superstar, but his play has been mixed in 2011 and he has made poor choices on-and-off court.
Giving up on the 20-year old swing could be a colossal blunder. Given the right situation, he could blossom into an elite, crème de la crème type player.
In Sacramento, Evans is part of the problem. Not the solution. Right now, Petrie needs solutions –even if there’s not an easy one to be had.
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