DeMarcus Cousins and Blake Griffin were banging on each other pretty hard Thursday night in what Kings coach Keith Smart called a great football game.
But Cousins was the one who ended up in foul trouble, playing just 18 minutes due to it (while Griffin had a double double and even hit key jumpers late). And Cousins was pissed about how the calls went.
He was especially angry about his fifth foul, where he swiped at the ball while Griffin held it. Griffin grabbed his eye as if he were hit, but Cousins would have none of that. Decide for yourself if this is a foul:
“I guess the wind from my hand hit him in the eye,” Cousins said. “I guess he got fouled by the wind….
“(Griffin is) in L.A. where actors belong,” Cousins said. “He’s an actor, so of course he would say (that he wasn’t worried about it).”
The two teams play again Saturday.
Griffin is developing a reputation among players (and some fans) as, well, as Eric Freeman said “a jerk.” This is not the first time he has been accused of acting to draw a foul, he talks a lot on the court, plus there is a sense that he whines whenever he is touched then takes some cheap fouls the other way. His aggressiveness certainly means he gets away with some things — both of his dunks on Pau Gasol Wednesday were offensive fouls, but there were no calls.
ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz described Griffin as playing a “confrontational” style of basketball. It gets under opponents’ skin. That doesn’t excuse the kind of cheap shot Jason Smith put on him, but you can bet other guys are going to start to push back and be physical with him.
Kings’ Rudy Gay suffers apparent torn left Achilles tendon, would be done for season
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Zaza Pachulia lays out Russell Westbrook, stands over him (video)
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
Roy Hibbert passes ball into hoop, reacts with perfect facial expression (video)