Tag:Sacramento Kings
Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:56 pm

Thornton to miss 1-2 weeks with hematoma

By Matt Moore

From the Sacramento Kings Wednesday: 
A diagnostic ultrasound test performed on guard Marcus Thronton today at the UC Davis Medical Center revealed a significant hematoma in his left thigh. He is expected to miss approximately one to two weeks of action.
Thornton has also missed the past four games with the injury. The injury is similar but not identical to a thigh bruise and is probably pretty painful. He's averaging 16 points and 4 rebounds per game for Sacramento, and losing him takes a big sting out of their offense just as they've started to play more coherently on offense. 

This does open up more room for Jimmer Fredette, though. Which is great since he's shooting 35 percent from the field with a 19 percent usage rate and averaging 3 assists per 36 minutes. Wait, that's not good at all. 

The Kings face Denver at home Wednesday night.  
Posted on: January 15, 2012 1:30 am
Edited on: January 15, 2012 5:53 pm

Reports: Cousins exchanges words with cameraman

Posted by Ben Golliver  demarcus-cousins

Much-maligned Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins reportedly exchanged words with a Dallas-area cameraman following a 99-60 loss to the Mavericks on Saturday night.

Cousins, 21, reportedly took exception to having a camera pointed at him while he was dressing after the game.

The Sacramento Bee reports the details. 
Cousins was getting dressed and there was a cameraman standing in front of him and Cousins asked could he not point the camera at him while he changed. The cameraman said the camera was off, and Cousins said he still didn't want camera on him. Cameraman's reply: "whatever."

Cousins basically said, "I don't care, keep the camera off me." As cameraman leaves he makes a remark about making sure the camera was off next time he was in there. Cousins asks, "What did he say?" and stands up. Isaiah Thomas grabbed Cousins by his sweatshirt to say, "Calm down." 

At no point did Cousins try to go after the cameraman. Cousins then gathered his belongings and left the locker room.
The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reported that Cousins "had to be restrained from going after a Dallas media cameraman."

A 2010 lottery pick, Cousins has been under the microscope during his two seasons in Sacramento, especially recently. Earlier this month, he was at the center of major controversy in Sacramento when former Kings coach Paul Westphal was fired less than a week after he suspended Cousins for allegedly demanding a trade.

Back in February 2011, Cousins was suspended by the team for reportedly getting into a fight with teammate Donte Greene after a game.

Cousins' reputation obviously does him no favors here. Unless it's a star player or someone with a track record of bad behavior, this incident likely gets quickly forgotten and probably goes unreported. Couins may very well leave this situation thinking he did nothing wrong by requesting his privacy and that the entire thing is being overblown simply by being talked about at all. But that's one of the burdens of being blessed with star-type talent. All eyes are on you, even after a difficult loss and even when you would rather not talk to anyone or have a camera anywhere near you.

NBA veterans realize that these ticky-tack situations are never worth the trouble. The risk/reward of sniping at someone in the social media-driven, all-access 21st century environment of the NBA is totally out of balance. It's all downside, and, eventually, one would think Cousins will reach that conclusion. The only question is when.

Cousins had 12 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes during the loss to the Mavericks.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:14 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 2:16 am

Report Card: Heat fail crunch-time again

Posted by Royce Young

Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments.

New York Knicks

You have to give credit to the Knicks. They've been up and down so far this season but against division leader Philadelphia, the Knicks played a quality all-around game getting necessary stops, getting big games from Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire and killing the glass. Everyone was riding high on the 76er bandwagon this week, but the Knicks handled them by getting out to a 28-15 first quarter and never looked back.

DeMarcus Cousins

The embattled big man had himself a ball game against the Raptors. Yeah, it was the Raptors who aren't typically strong inside, but Cousins put up 21 points and 19 boards. That's the type of stuff that makes him worth picking over a coach, no matter what the issues may be. Cousins has serious talent no matter what's going on in his head. If he can ever start channeling it properly, the guy is going to be a beast.

Kobe Bryant

A night after going for 48, Kobe put up his 109th career 40-point game dropping a four-oh on the Jazz in a Laker overtime win. He played 43 minutes, took 31 shots (making 14), grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists on top of it all. Kobe has been as good as ever to open this season. Whether it's the German knee treatment or freedom from the Triangle, Kobe's off to an MVP-type start.

John Lucas

Playing for MVP Derrick Rose, John Lucas stepped up and scored 25 points and dished out eight assists leading the Bulls to maybe the ugliest win ever over the Wizards, 78-64. But 25-8 is 25-8. Sure, it took him 28 shots, but that has never stopped us from being impressed with Rose. I think the lesson here is that obviously it's just the Chicago system and basically you can insert any player into that point guard spot and he'll produce big numbers. Also, I'm not at all serious about that. But seriously, what the crap John Lucas?

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clips got their biggest win of the season and while it's a very nice victory, it was U-G-L-Y. Chris Paul was terrific, DeAndre Jordan wonderful (six blocks), but the Clipper bench provided only eight points and Blake Griffin struggled, scoring just two baskets in the second half. It's a great win for the Clippers and something for them to build on, but it wasn't exactly a clean victory.

Mavericks beat the Celtics 90-85

A big game between two very high profile teams with big stars. It should be a good one, right? But the game was just ugly all over. Missed free throws, bad offense, sloppy play -- it wasn't pretty. It was close though and got entertaining late as Dirk completed a three-point play to put the Mavericks over the top, but you were watching two potentially over-the-hill teams look very much like it for 48 minutes.


Across the league tonight, only a couple games saw a team score 100 points. There were a bunch of games played in the 80s and a few with totals down in the 70s. The Wizards scored 64 total and the Hawks scored only nine in a quarter for crying out loud. It's the way life is in a lockout shortened season I guess, but man, there has been some ugly offense lately.

Crunch-time Heat

On a second consecutive night the Heat essentially choked in crunch-time. They missed 14 free throws (including eight from LeBron, four in the fourth quarter) and went nearly 12 minutes without a basket spanning the fourth quarter and overtime. And the one basket they finally got? It was a 3 from Mario Chalmers. We all make a big deal about this fourth quarter stuff with Miami, but it's a thing. You can't ignore it. Going almost a quarter's worth of basketball without a hoop is a problem.

Washington Wizards

Sixty-four points? Really? I mean, really? Are they even trying to score? Yeah, it was against the Bulls who are a great defensive team, but geez. Thirty-one percent from the floor, only one quarter over 20 points and only 27 points total in the second half? The Wizards terrible. Just terrible.


Al Horford went down with a shoulder injury that could cost him a month or more. And he's just the latest in a long line of players getting dinged up. Blame it on the condensed schedule with no camp or just coincidence, but it has seemed like the injury bug has been biting quite a bit this season.

Posted on: January 11, 2012 10:33 am

Tyreke Evans got Tebowned

By Matt Moore

Tyreke Evans is a huge Steelers fan. So while his team was losing to the Magic this weekend, his favorite team was being eliminated by the best/worst quarterback in the history of everything. And 'Reke? Well, 'Reke isn't so much a fan of Tim Tebow now. From Cowbell Kingdom

It got me thinking. Is there anything like Tebow in the NBA? His fourth quarter dynamics make you think of Kobe Bryant, but Bryant is actually, well, nearly flawless at what he does, versus Tebow, who upon throwing for 316 yards last weekend changed the minds of a lot of people by throwing for over... well, 100 yards. He's polarizing, as is LeBron James, but then, James is largely the anti-Tebow. He's despised by a vast majority of the country, he's exceptionally talented and his abilities have never been questioned in terms of whether he belongs at the pro level, and he fails repeatedly in the fourth quarter, as he did Tuesday night. 

The only real possibility for there to be a Tebow in the NBA is Jimmer Fredette. Fredette is polarizing, a former player of the year in college, a really good kid by all accounts, and had questions about whether he could play at this level. Fredette has not taken the league by storm, but if he does turn a corner, look out.

In the meantime, we agree with 'Reke's closing assessment.
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:44 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 8:00 pm

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

3-on-2 explores the answers to two questions from each of our three bloggers on EOB. This week's topic? DeMarcus Cousins and the firing of Paul Westphal. 

1. Is DeMarcus Cousins worth the hassle for the Kings, specifically?

Ben Golliver: This was an excellent question to ask... before the 2010 NBA Draft. Now it's pretty much too late with things having evolved along a worst case scenario since the Kings opted to take the plunge. Cousins hasn't matured, he hasn't produced in such overwhelming volume that would make his pouting and off-court distractions worth putting up with and he hasn't played either so well that he is truly tradeable or so poorly that, a la Hasheem Thabeet, Sacramento can just cut ties and move on without him. Sacramento is stuck with him now whether he's worth the hassle or not. A new coach can bring a second lease on life to players who act out like he has. It's a possibility worth praying for in this case but don't bank on it.

Royce Young: Yes, for now. Cousins isn't guaranteed to be the problem. Sometimes players and coaches simply don't get along. Players with attitudes like Cousins can be successful in the league as long as they fit in and are part of a culture they fit. See: Wallace, Rasheed. Cousins has enough talent to wait it out. Keith Smart will be more of a players' coach than Westphal so if Cousins clashes with him and is clearly disrupting the locker room and bringing down the attitude and development of the team, that's when you part ways.

Matt Moore: Not for this team, I'm convinced. Cousins has the potential to be an NBA All-Star but he needs rigid structure. He has to have a team that puts very specific limits on his behavior, without doing so confrontationally. He needs veteran leadership to set an example for him. (COUGH* BOSTON* COUGH.) The Kings are in too much flux to hang on to him. He has great value, and you never want to give up on a player on a rookie contract with talent. The Kings don't need further headaches. They've created enough of their own.

2. Does firing Westphal after the Cousins incident this week set a dangerous precedent? If so, why, if not, why not?

Golliver: Firing Westphal was Sacramento taking a not-particularly-expensive stand against ineffective coaching and terrible relationship management. It was clear from Sacramento's second game of the season that the Kings weren't playing for him. Bigger than any individual player who winds up looking like a coach-killer or feeling like he can do whatever he wants with no repercussions is the message that you send to every player if you keep Westphal around as a lame duck. That message would be: "We're totally cool with totally sucking." New coach Keith Smart will need to work immediately to lay new ground rules for both DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, who hasn't played to his capabilities this year, or Sacramento will be coach-hunting again before they know it.

Young: It only seems that way because Geoff Petrie for some reason allowed Westphal to send out that trade demand press release last week. Without that, we're probably talking about why Westphal was fired because over two-plus seasons he'd only won 50 games. You never want the appearance that a player got a coach fired, but remember, Jerry Sloan kind of sort of retired partly because of Deron Williams and that situation. It's not really anything new. It's an ugly situation and it kind of scares Cousins' already tarnished reputation, but it happens. It's a players league. Always has been and always will be.

Moore: Allowing the entire debacle paints the picture. Cousins didn't want to play for Westphal. Now he won't. The better approach would have been to recognize that Cousins was a bigger part of the Kings' future than Paul Westphal. Because the result is a situation that may have been justifiable, and yet still looks bad and makes management seem weak with regards to the next time a player becomes disgruntled.
Posted on: January 6, 2012 12:02 am

Chuck Hayes dislocates his shoulder

By Matt Moore

The news did not get better for the Kings Thursday night after the firing of Paul Westphal. Starting center Chuck Hayes went down with a separated shoulder in the second quarter against Milwaukee. From the Sacramento Bee
Kings forward/center Chuck Hayes left tonight's game against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second quarter with a dislocated left shoulder.

Hayes was injured extending his arm and colliding with Bucks center Drew Gooden.

Hayes stayed down on the court for a few minutes before leaving the court with medical staff.
via Kings Blog and Q&A: Chuck Hayes leaves game with dislocated left shoulder.

Hayes is just weeks removed from having a contract offer initially nullified by the Kings because of a heart condition. A second opinion from the Cleveland Clinic cleared him to play
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:26 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 9:29 pm

Kings sign Smart as head coach... for two years?

By Matt Moore

So Paul Westphal was fired today as head coach of the Sacramento Kings. That's not really surprising, given the disappointing start to the season for the Kings and the continuing discord between Westphal, star power forward DeMarcus Cousins, and the general unrest in the locker room. Assistant coach Keith Smart was assigned as head coach for the time being, then immediately upgraded to interim coach. OK, that makes sense. Smart's been interim coach for two different teams in the past, has a lot of experience, and the Kings could use a steady hand and won't want to pay the money to essentially bring on a second coach when they have to pay out the rest of Westphal's contract. 

This all makes a modicum of sense, at least in the way that most NBA things do. 

But then there's this.

Yahoo Sports reports that the Kings have signed Smart for two years, with the deal guaranteed through 2013.

Sorry, come again?

The Kings have just committed to two years of a very qualified, very well-respected interim coach...who went 36-46 with the Warriors last year. The Kings are in a crucial position right now. They have to get Cousins back on the track to not only calming down emotionally, but contributing efficiently on the court. Tyreke Evans has to get sorted out because his game is mess right now. Marcus Thornton has to learn how to play off the ball. The team has to learn what a pass is. There's a world of work to be done, and if it goes wrong, it's going to set the franchise back another two to three seasons. 

Which is why you don't buy the cow just because you know it can produce milk of some kind.

I want to be clear, it's not that Smart can't work out. For all we know this could wind up as a genius signing if Smart pulls a Thunder Brooks and takes the team to the next level. It's a different situation entirely in a lot of ways but "young team with talent struggles, fires its coach and finds its answer from within" is not an impossible scenario. But you want to leave yourself an out.

Putting Smart in for the rest of the year gives you the ability to look for an upgrade at season's end. If someone is looking to get back into coaching and likes what he's seen of the Kings and is an upgrade on Smart, why not take a look at him? If Smart really does excel, you can always re-sign him or extend him. Even make the second year non-guaranteed. It's great to give a coach your confidence and the ability to coach without fear for his job. But you're not worried about this year in terms of wins and losses. You're worried about the next four years. 

The terrifying element behind this for Kings fans is that it seems financially-related. Getting Smart now at a cheap price keeps their costs low.  It seems like a move made not for what's best for the team, but to cover for the financial impact of Westphal without risking Smart's price going up. And for a team in the Kings' situation, they can't afford to not afford what's best for the organization.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:37 pm

What's next for Kings after Westphal?

By Matt Moore

With the predictable, yet sooner-than-expected firing of Paul Westphal today, the Kings seem to be in disarray. But looking at the roster and the talent available, plus the job being in California (be it Sacramento or Anaheim), you have to consider it to be one of the more attractive positions likely to open this year. Yes, the franchise is in disarray from an ownership and organizational perspective, but this is the NBA. Those things magically fade to the background if you start winning with a talented roster, and the Kings have a talented roster.

So who's on the radar for the Kings? We're going to give you a few options the Kings might explore and how those options play out with the different coaches, but first you need to understand the complexities of the situation.

The Kings are not, publicly or reportedly, under any financial strain, beyond the losses which were poured over in lockout talks. But the Maloofs were hit hard by the economic recession, which helped fuel their desire for the move to Anaheim last year that was thrwarted by the NBA. One of the primay reasons many believed Westphal would not be fired this season was due to the salary that must be paid to him in addition to a new coach. That the Kings felt it was imperative to move on is a good sign for Kings fans, indicating that they're willing to pay out the rest of the deal to get started on a new chapter. Still, the price tag on many of the options below may be too high. The situation in Sacramento goes beyond "get the best coach available."

Keith Smart: In November of 2008, P.J. Carlesimo was fired from the Thunder after a 1-12 start. A young
assistant and former player Scott Brooks took over. Voila. OK, so Keith Smart is 47, and this is his third stint as interim head coach. But if Smart somehow manages to get through to this team (including yes, DeMarcus Cousins), that would be the best possible situation for all. Smart wouldn't cost a fortune and has continuity. Drawbacks? Well, he was part of the horrible start and he's failed to stick at the two previous interim spots. Smart drew mixed reviews in Golden State before the Warriors hired Mark Jackson. He's got his work cut out for him.

Larry Brown: Yahoo Sports already brought up this possibility, via an executive. Brown might be great for DeMarcus Cousins with his brutal, intense ways. It also might detonate. Brown has experience (there's the understatement of the year) and brings a high-value name to the project. But Brown is also renown for crushing the souls and dreams of young guards. Let's see. Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette... yeah, this is like an execution line of hope under Brown. Brown's also 71, so he's not a long-term solution. He's also going to want more organizational control than GM Geoff Petrie is willing to surrender.

Don Nelson: Fast guards that don't play defense and a mercurial, angry forward? What could possibly go wrong here for Nelson? Nelson would likely want more control as well, and is no spring chicken either. But man would that team be fun to watch. This idea's already been floated by the Mercury News

Mike D'Antoni: See, it's a jump-to-conclusions mat! This one's out there, but it makes so much sense from a strategy standpoint. Say D'Antoni gets scapegoated (already happening) in New York because his front office listened to a former GM that wrecked their franchise and gave up the farm for a high-usage small forward who stuggles with anything except shooting out of ISO sets and rebounding. D'Antoni lands in Sacramento. Warmer weather. An explosive big man who's a bit of an enigma. Multiple players with liquid position skills. And a shoot-first undersized guard. Come on now. You want to watch this. Even a little. This has about zero percent chance of happening, but the idea was so good I couldn't resist listing it.

Phil Jackson: Haha, just kidding.

Mario Elie: Another Kings coach. Elie is popular with the players though, and has a longer history with the team. This is pretty unlikely given the team passing him over once, but if Smart is sent out at season's end after Westphal, Elie might be promoted.

Brian Shaw: The man many felt should have gotten the job in Los Angeles might want the chance to go after his old team. Shaw is a players' coach, which might be just what the Kings need. If he were to want to put the triangle in place, though, run as fast as humanly possible.

Quin Snyder: Snyder worked under the Spurs system in Austin as the Spurs' D-League coach, then as an assistant in Philadelphia under Doug Collins and this season as an assistant for Mike Brown and the Lakers. He's a development coach who can get through to players and has had nothing but good marks since his departure from Missouri. Plus Kings fans could get wigs of the hair, which is fun.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com