George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins Still “Not Pretty”


Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Well the feud has yet to be resolved between Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl and franchise centerpiece DeMarcus Cousins. VP of basketball/franchise operations, Vlade Divac, was on the Jim Rome show yesterday and was asked about the Cousins and Karl situation.

"“I will be honest with you, I think it’s not pretty right now. I’m focused on bringing a better team this year, and I think I did a pretty good job in this free agency, and now I will be focused on the two of them. I think they should think about how they can do the best for this team, and I hope everything goes well.”"

Divac’s response if he thought they would both be on the team come opening night:

"“A lot of rumors around the country talking about ‘he’s not going to play for coach’, ‘coach wants to trade him’; it’s not going to happen.” If somebody is going to make a decision, I’m going to make the decision; so I want to keep them both here for now. DeMarcus is definitely our guy that we want to build a team around.”Full Podcast here: Jim Rome Show"

So this is how I interpreted this statement from Vlade–the team most definitely want this player-coach relationship to work. Whether that be in a strictly professional manner (which it should be regardless) or they find a way to “friends,” the team wants this pairing to work.

Now I also think the team has their decision made on which direction they would go in, if the two can’t figure this thing out. The team is going to choose to stay with DeMarcus Cousins over their head coach.

This just seems as the most obvious decision, but I do know many people who lean the other way. Now nothing is imminent and let me reiterate by saying that the Kings definitely want to make this pairing of Karl and Cousins to work more than anything.

Now why is the decision of Cousins the most obvious; well let’s just go with the answer that everyone seems to be the automatic reaction answer: age. Cousins is locked into a three-year contract with the Kings right now and has yet to reach his ceiling of talent and is at the young age of 24 years old. So even when he finishes this contract, he will still be younger than the teams most recent acquisition, Rajon Rondo (29).

Karl, who is 64, has two years left on his contract and is set to receive $5 million per year. Though the winning records and his Hall of Fame resume is something that is undoubtedly something the team wants to keep on this roster, Karl may not be around for too much longer than his current contract.

DeMarcus Cousins is hands down the best offensive big man in the NBA and arguably the best center in the league; the Kings just can’t let that go. He is what James Ham calls “Hall of Fame talent” and that is not something that comes around every day in Sacramento.

The team is building this offseason and has a roster that has the potential to be contender for an eighth seed in the stacked Western Conference. The team also has the potential to have a wreaking ball of a season with the multiple strong personalities that will be held in that locker room. The Kings need to have a coach that can control this team and guide it to where they need to be.

I feel George Karl is the guy for the job–he has the resume to get this team to the next level, but in order for him to do so both he and Cousins need to come together and build a working relationship. We don’t care if they aren’t the best of friends or mortal enemies, all the front office and us as fans care about is for this team to win basketball games. The two need to realize work is work, and if they can just grow to mutually respect one another this team can be something special moving into the new season.