Vlade Divac, and ultimately Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive, have a choice to make this summer: George Karl or DeMarcus Cousins.
The latest sign of a the fault line between Sacramento’s star center and their coach — a feud that goes back to Karl pushing to trade Cousins and his tweets in response this summer, a fissure that was never fully closed — came after the Kings’ loss to the Jazz Sunday. That was Cousins return from a one-game suspension for berating Karl.
“That wasn’t a suspension from the organization, that was one from the head coach,” Cousins said. “There’s a difference.”
It was GM Vlade Divac who had announced the suspension (he also reportedly argued with Cousins that night). Here is Divac’s response to Cousins’ comments, via Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.
When told of Cousins’ view of the suspension, Divac told Yahoo Sports with a huge grin: “I love DeMarcus Cousins. That is my only comment.”
We don’t have room on the Internet to cover everything the Kings need to start doing differently as an organization, but this summer it begins with choosing a direction (then sticking with it for a few years). If they want to build around Cousins, Karl and his up-tempo style need to go. If they want to be a running team in a Karl style, they need to work with Cousins on a trade and make wholesale roster changes to get players who fit that style. Either way, there needs to be some serious roster changes.
But the Karl/Cousins dynamic isn’t working. That much is clear.