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Tuesday , Aug , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Cousins: ‘the whole NBA might be in Europe’

Like Green, most have negotiated opt-out clauses that would free them to honor existing NBA contracts, or to sign a new one, once the labor impasse is over. “Pretty soon, the whole NBA might be in Europe,” said Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins, who says he’s examining overseas options as well.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: DeMarcus Cousins is wrong.

The whole NBA will not cross the Atlantic Ocean for big money in Europe. Most NBA players won’t find work abroad if there isn’t a new collective bargaining agreement.

Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain are broke. They have little money, so owners will struggle to pay anything near NBA wages.

Suppose owners could afford to dole out millions for an American player. Would they want to?

After all, the European game is different. Teams and systems are far more important than individuals and statistics.Many American players can't adjust.

And European coaches wouldn’t want a roster of half-committed Yankees’, who were bidding their time until they could return to America.

Cousins and the players shouldn't overplay their hand.

--Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Aug , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Tyeke Evans flashes his handles

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Reports had Tyreke Evans spending the summer refining his mediocre jump shot. Clearly, the Sacramento star has also put in work on his handles.

Watch the video, form an opinion on Evans' dribbling at a recent Pro Am Event, and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Aug , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Blake Griffin wants ‘Clippers’ to play in Impact League?

According to Impact owner and renowned trainer Joe Abunassar, the Clippers' Blake Griffin, Mo Williams and Randy Foye came by last week and expressed a desire to enter the league with a team made up solely of their teammates.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Los Angeles Clippers are on the verge of a breakthrough.

Yes, I’m talking about those Clippers. Yes, I know their history. And yes, I know they are owned by Donald Sterling, also known as The Don or The Worst Owner in Pro Sports.

None of that matters, though.

The Clippers resemble the Sacramento Kings of yesteryear, specifically the 1998-99 lockout shortened season when a squad led by Chris Webber, Jason ‘White Chocolate’ Williams, and Vlade Divac went 27-23.

Those Kings not only entertained but possessed a togetherness that made them a force in the Western Conference for the next five years.

Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and the Clippers were a League Pass must-see last year, however, they also turned the corner and played some solid basketball.

Now reports indicate that the Clippers, as a team, want to join the new league that Impact Basketball is organizing for mid-September in Las Vegas.

So the Clippers are united; Griffin, their superstar, is leading. And L.A.’s other squad seems poised to take another step in 2012 -if there’s a season. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Aug , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jimmer Fredette: ‘I won’t be able to dominate’ the NBA

“The biggest thing is that people want to see how I translate to the NBA game,” Fredette told Yahoo! Sports. “There are a lot of question marks out there. There are a lot of guys who don’t think I can play at this level and I won’t be able to dominate as well as the college level. I’m not expecting to do that at the NBA level right away anyway.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The one person being realistic about Jimmer Fredette’s future is Jimmer Fredette.

The BYU combo guard has been hailed a saviour and messiah since being selected tenth overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2011 NBA draft.

Sacramento fans expect him to have an immediate impact. Die hard NCAA fans expect him to dominate. Everyone expects he’ll save basketball in Sacramento, as the franchise was practically in Orange County before the NBA cancelled the prospective move.

It’s too much. Even Fredette admits as much.

There’s a huge jump from college to the NBA. Such a transition would be difficult for a first overall pick, let alone a lower lottery pick in a weak draft year.

If Fredette focuses on improving, he’ll have a fine career. Hopefully, this satisfies everyone else.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Jul , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Tyreke Evans Confused by Jimmer Fredette Pick?

But a month after the draft, Evans also has some questions: Is he still the Kings’ starting point guard? Or, is he being moved to shooting guard to make room for the heralded rookie? Team officials gave Evans no answers after the draft, and they can’t speak to him until after the lockout ends.“I don’t know how we are playing it,” Evans said. “Am I going to be the point? Is he going to be the point? At the end of the day, whatever one they lead me to, I’m just ready.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s basketball. And there’s the business of basketball.

Tyreke Evans should understand the Sacramento Kings picking Jimmer Fredette in the first round of the 2011 Draft was part basketball and part business.

Sure, Fredette can play. Yet nobody is sure how his silky smooth jump-shot will exactly fit with the young, talented, and temperamental Kings.

Some of these questions have been compounded by the lockout, specifically the cancellation of summer league which would’ve provided a sneak peak at Fredette running sets with many of his new teammates.

The Kings selected Fredette, in part, for his off-court appeal. He’s already a cult-hero and such status will help a frustrated Sacramento fan base re-connect to the club after their near move to Orange County.

While there are concerns about Fredette’s on-court game, few have concerns about his off-court game and ability to sell tickets.

Even Evans shouldn't be confused by this.
 
--Oly Sandor


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Friday , Jul , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will Wolves appease Love and pay Adelman?

If they're willing to pay $4-5 million a year, the pick clearly seems to be former Houston coach Rick Adelman, a candidate who meets all of Kahn's criteria for style of play, winning track record and the unspoken but important Kevin Love Factor.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is a minor boondoggle by Minnesota Timberwolves standards, but a boondoggle nonetheless.

GM David Kahn has publicly stated owner Glen Taylor, who has never thrown money around, will dig deep into his pockets to pay the right coach.

Fat chance.

Can you see Taylor paying a top candidate $4-5 million annually for a minimum of three years, while also honouring the final $4 million owed to former coach Kurt Rambis?

So why would Kahn state that the Wolves would hire a pricey option like Rick Adelman, who enjoyed success with the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and, most recently, the Houston Rockets?

Now the Wolves are stuck. If they hire a less expensive coach, for whatever reason, they’ll get criticized. If they hire an expensive coach, like Adelman, they’ll get criticized for wasting their limited resources on a bench-boss.

There’s one way Kahn, Taylor, and the Wolves can quiet the critics: start winning.

--Oly Sandor.


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Donte Green’s Baby Momma Drama
Wednesday , Jul , 20 , 2011 J.N.

Donte Green’s Baby Momma Drama

The relaxing summer time is the hardest part for any NBA player especially during a lockout because no one is getting paid. It’s time to examine the huge riches that are stored up in the banks. Nope, I’m not implying to rob banks. That is straight up stupid. What I am trying to say is that even though an NBA player is not getting paid right now, they’re much richer than the average American. They have other things to worry about. 

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Friday , Jul , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Jimmer Fredette Sacramento’s Saviour?

The Sacramento Kings haven't started winning just yet, but they already got that second part down.  According to sacbee.com, the Kings have already sold more tickets than they did all last season.  One undeniable reason for that: Jimmer.

The biggest name in the entire draft is already making a difference to a team that has just one more year to prove that it can survive in Sacramento.  That probably isn't the primary reason the Kings selected Jimmer at No. 10, but it's definitely a nice bonus.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No rookie should have the saviour tag. They should focus on learning the pro game and adjusting off-court.

Many talented college players have failed to realize their full potential in the pro ranks. Their game may not translate. Or, they love The Life: money, nightclubs, celebrity.

The Sacramento Kings are clearly nuts for anointing first year pro Jimmer Fredette their saviour. After all, Fredette isn’t just The White Knight on-court, but he’s supposed to renew connections with fans off-court.

Now the Kings aren’t just bad on-the-court, they’re dysfunctional. However, they have bigger issues off-court. Ownership nearly moved the club to Anaheim before the NBA forced them back to Sacramento.

Fredette isn’t just walking into this soap opera, he’s being asked to solve it. Management admitted he was drafted, in part, because he sells tickets.

So there’s no pressure, right?

The current situation shows just how the Kings have slipped. Not long ago, they were the class of the NBA on and off court.

Desperate times, desperate measures. And if Fredette fails, there will be plenty of blame to go around.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Jun , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Tyreke Evans likes new addition JImmer Fredette

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Everything can change in a year. Just ask Tyreke Evans.

Last year, Evans was the darling of the NBA, a co-winner of the Rookie of the Year award and the face of the up-and-coming Sacramento Kings.

Then he got caught in a less than ideal video. He struggled with injuries, conditioning, and DeMarcus Cousins. Not surprisingly, he and the Kings suffered.

Today, Evans is wiser. There is also renewed hope around the Kings. They’re staying in Sacramento and drafted cult-hero/sharp-shooter Jimmer Fredette.

Click the video below and listen to Evans’ thoughts on his newest teammate. 

--Oly Sandor.

Agree or disagree? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Jun , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Spurs moving Parker and Jefferson?

Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Spurs had been “in discussions” with the Raptors and Kings for a deal involving Parker.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Want Tony Parker? Well, you may have to take Richard Jefferson, too.

A few weeks ago, Tony Parker told reporters the San Antonio Spurs’ championship window had closed. Parker believed the organization needed to rebuild.

Of course, the you-know-what-hit-the-Alamo-fan. Parked denied saying his Spurs were done. Management assured the public they’d still contend.

Business as usual, right? Well, wrong.

The Spurs are indeed rebuilding. And Parker, ironically, might be the piece this quasi-dynasty uses to turn the page, flip-the-script, and start over.

The Spurs have reportedly made their French point guard available in hopes of securing a lottery pick. Word is the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings are interested.

However, the Raptors, Kings, or any other team would have to assume the four years and $32 million left on Richard Jefferson’s deal. This is a steep price for a former All-Star on the back end of his career.

Bottom line: Parker is on the trading block. Jefferson may go, too. And the Spurs are officially rebuilding.

--Oly Sandor.


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Are the Lakers Imploding?
Wednesday , Apr , 13 , 2011 Christopher Sells

Are the Lakers Imploding?

I have an admission to make: I've been pretty bored with the NBA 's regular season. It's not that there haven't been plenty of interesting things going on in the league for the last month, I've just been more interested in getting to the 2 1/2 month marathon that is the Playoffs. But in preparation for the postseason, I re-engaged late last week. And as a reward for my rededication, the Lakers decided to make it worth my while. They're still my pick to come out of the Western Conference, but they've definitely added some intrigue to what may have been an otherwise predictable run to the Finals.

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Thursday , Mar , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lou Williams’ ‘I want it all’

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Recently, Lou Williams admitted his Philadelphia 76ers struggled in a loss to the Sacramento Kings because they were out the night before at the Lil’ Wayne concert.

Fair or not, the opinions and editorials on professionalism, or the lack thereof, flew.

What we didn’t know then was that Williams has his own mic’ dreams. Watch the video below and give us your thoughts on his musical talents in the comment box below.


--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Mar , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lil’ Wayne concert to blame for 76ers loss to Kings?

Williams was at a loss for an answer as to why the team didn't play well, although he did mention attending a concert on Saturday night. "It was a combination of things, and it doesn't seem we came out ready to play," he said. "We took a chance last night by going to the Lil Wayne concert." Williams did not say which teammates attended Saturday's concert at the Wells Fargo Center.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Team goes to rap concert. Team stays out late. Team drops a matinee match-up the next day to a weaker opponent.

This isn’t the JV squad at your local high school, but the Philadelphia 76ers, who, in theory, are professionals.

Several 76ers apparently attended the Lil’ Wayne concert on Saturday night and looked sluggish against the lowly Sacramento Kings on Sunday afternoon.

For instance, Lou Williams was at the show and went 1-for-12 against the Kings. To be fair, his sole make was a terrific three-pointer that sent the game into overtime.   

Nobody is saying NBA players can’t have a life. As we know, many love ‘The Life’.

Perhaps the 76ers shouldn’t have gone to a high profile concert the night before a mid afternoon game, especially since they’re battling for playoff seeding in the Eastern Conference.

Another night, it’s nobody’s business. But Williams shouldn’t have commented to reporters. The young guard should have denied, denied, denied or given a terse no comment.

The 76ers are one of the NBA’s best stories. Hopefully, hanging with Lil` Wayne doesn’t overshadow their accomplishments.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Mar , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Anaheim dangling $75 million in front of Kings

Anaheim officials would issue $75 million in bonds to lure the Kings from Sacramento, according to city documents released today.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Sacramento Kings fans better enjoy NBA basketball while they can.

Word is the city of Anaheim will give the Maloofs, who own the Kings, $75 million to leave Sacramento and relocate to Disneyland. The money would go to stadium upgrades and moving or ‘transition’ costs.

The money would also ease the cost of any relocation fee to be paid to the two Los Angeles teams, the Lakers and Clippers.

Sadly, the Kings look to be done with Sacramento. A decade ago, Vlade D, C-Webb, White Chocolate, and J-Will were the toast of the NBA.

However, the NBA is now for the filthy, filthy rich. Very rich owners like the Maloofs can no longer compete unless they have modern stadiums to generate sufficient revenue.

Apparently, Sacramento and Arco Arena won't do. Or, perhaps they just won't spend taxpayer money on stadiums for basketball.    

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Mar , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Sacramento Kings to become Anaheim Royals?

On March 3rd, the United States Patent and Trademark Office received an application by a Nevada corporation seeking exclusive rights to use the name "Los Angeles Royals." Another application filed the same day reserves the name "Anaheim Royals." The city of Anaheim, which owns the Honda Center, has reportedly insisted that any team playing there carry the city's name.

The web domains losangelesroyals.com and anaheimroyals.com have also been registered within the past three weeks. A name change would help the team avoid confusion with the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They are about to become the NBA team formerly known as the Sacramento Kings.

Recent evidence suggests Sacramento is on the verge of moving to the Anaheim/Los Angeles area, and owners Geoff and Gavin Maloof have officially trademarked the name Royals.

While Sacramento has obvious arena challenges, can Los Angeles really support three professional basketball franchises? Furthermore, is being the third fish in the Anaheim/Los Angeles pond behind the Clippers and Lakers better than being the only fish in the tiny Sacramento pond?

Clearly, the Kings think so. And it seems Sacramento’s NBA team is about to become no more.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sacramento Kings to Anaheim, California? Wow.
Friday , Mar , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Sacramento Kings to Anaheim, California? Wow.

Southern California could form the trinity of NBA basketball:  Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Anaheim Kings. I prefer Anaheim Royals since the Kings have been already taken by some hockey team in Los Angeles. The Maloofs can name the team “Anaheim Surfers” if they want. That would be all forms of awesome. Their uniforms would be made out of hemp promoted by Disney. What’s not to love? Black players with blond hair and white players with long blond hair unite. I’d pay to see that.

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Wednesday , Feb , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kings send Landry to Hornets for Thonton

The Kings and Hornets are close to completing a trade that would send Carl Landry to New Orleans for Marcus Thornton and cash. Sam Amick of FanHouse reports that the trade call will take place on Wednesday. The Kings held Landry out of Tuesday's game.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Backcourt depth for frontcourt scoring.

This is the best explanation of Tuesday's minor trade that saw the New Orleans Hornets ship Marcus Thornton to the Sacramento Kings for Carl Landry.

Thornton will provide relief to the Kings’ ailing backcourt because Tyreke Evans is out for three weeks, while Landry will give Monty Williams’ Hornets a low-post scorer off the bench.

Frankly, the Kings have bigger worries: like mediating the power struggle between big DeMarcus Cousins and Evans, the 2010 Rookie of the Year, and getting their stadium issues settled.

Perhaps dealing Landry is a way of opening up more minutes for Cousins. Perhaps legendary Executive Geoff Petrie knows something the rest of us do not about Thornton.

Whatever the case, the Kings are a mess. And it will take more than one insignificant trade to solve their issues.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Feb , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

A Royal Mess: Cousins fights Greene over pass to Evans?

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.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If you haven’t figured it out, something is wrong with the Sacramento Kings.

Very wrong.

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.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jan , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Sacramento’s Christmas Miracle: Tyreke Evans’ half-court heave

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Good for Tyreke Evans. Good for the beleaguered Sacramento Kings fans.

Late last week, the Kings and Memphis Grizzlies were locked in a close battle. With seconds remaining, the Grizzlies pulled ahead 98-97 on an OJ Mayo floater.

Game over, right? Well, wrong.

Evans alertly grabs the inbound pass, takes one dribble, and converts a miracle heave to win the game. Hopefully, this is the start of a turnaround for Evans, who has been bothered with foot troubles, and the lowly Kings.

The best part of Evans’ game-winning shot: teammate Donte Greene comes off the Kings’ bench and is celebrating on-court before the ball is in. Green, it seems, had faith.

Watch Evans’ game-winning shot and get at us with thoughts on Greene's reaction in the comment box below. 

--Oly Sandor.
 

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Thursday , Dec , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Westphal and Kings ‘Choking’ with DeMarcus Cousins

Westphal said he didn't see what Cousins did until watching the replay of the game. He said he announced the fine only because Cousins' action happened publicly.

"It's unprofessional, childish, embarrassing, and it won't be tolerated," the coach said. When asked if Cousins got that message, Westphal left that open for debate. "He's been told that," Westphal said. "I don't know what he understands."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What was the worst thing you did at 19?

You don’t have to admit what you did; however, you and I know it was worse than making a choke sign at another player during an NBA game.

Well, that was DeMarcus Cousins’ crime.

The Sacramento Kings’ teenage power forward made a choking gesture at the Golden State Warriors’ Reggie Williams after he missed the first of two free throws. 

(The crime.)

Sure, Cousins was wrong. And sure, he deserves to be punished.

However, Coach Paul Westphal declared jihad, bashing him to reporters, fining him, and removing him from the starting line-up.

Worst of all, instead of making choke-gate a ‘teachable’ moment, Westphal publicly embarrassed Cousins and implied he wasn’t a good person.

Would Westphal have reacted the same way if, say, Hall of Fame post Kevin Garnett made a choking gesture?

Would Westphal have reacted the same way towards Cousins if the Kings won the game, weren’t sitting at 5-21, and his job wasn’t on the line?

Westphal’s reaction says as much about him as the choke gesture does about Cousins. There’s a difference, though. Westphal is an adult, Cousins is a kid.

It’s Westphal’s job to teach, groom, and mentor Cousins, as well as criticize him. Instead the Kings have Sam Dalembert preaching professionalism to Cousins.

Oh, the irony. Dalembert, of course, quit the Canadian national in the middle of the Olympic qualifying tournament, routinely showed up late for practice with the Philadelphia 76ers, and is often referred to by league sources as a cancer.

This is the state of the Kings. And Cousins’ behaviour is a reflection of their failures as an organization.

Hopefully, executive Geoff Petrie is taking note. Hopefully, the Maloof brothers, who own the team, are taking note.

It’s time for change in Sacramento.  And we`re not talking about removing Cousins from the starting line-up.

--Oly Sandor.

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