UPDATE 8:17 pm: The amount of the fine was one game’s salary for Cousins (about $41,000), according to Sam Amick at FanHouse. So, the Kings say it wasn’t a suspension, but he sat out one game and was docked one game’s pay. Hmmm. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….
4:43 pm: Contrary to the first reports after the altercation, DeMarcus Cousins has not been suspended from the Kings for any length of time and will rejoin the team in Oklahoma City after missing one game for his role in a team locker room fight. ‘
He will also pay a “significant” fine (the Kings later amended their statement to say “appropriate fine,” so take that how you wish) the team announced via press release. (Sam Amick reported this first on twitter).
The altercation happened after the Kings lost a two-game to the Thunder Thursday. Donte Green inbounded the ball on the final play and threw it to Tyreke Evans, who went and did a very Tyreke thing dibbling before taking a contested three that missed. Cousins wanted the ball inside to earn the tie.
As they walked off the court Cousins told Green what he thought of his decision, and Green would not back down, the two had words in the locker room and Cousins punched and had to be restrained by teammates according to reports.
Cousins issued the standard apologetic statement on Monday.
“I wish to apologize to my teammates, the Kings organization and Kings’ fans for my role in an unfortunate altercation. I accept full responsibility for my actions and know that I must keep raising my standard of professionalism to be my best.”
Also in that press release:
“There is no place in the NBA for violence, either on or off the court,” said Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. “Upon investigating the events of Saturday night, we feel it is necessary to impose a significant fine related to DeMarcus’ behavior. We will now move forward together. We do not intend to give up on DeMarcus’ talent or potential. We look forward to watching his continued improvement and development, which has been significant since the beginning of the season.”
Cousins is a beast on the court and already a diva and problem off it. And you have to ask, if Cousins is this kind of walking locker room drama as a rookie, what happens when he’s been in the league a few more years and feels confident about his place.
The Kings have a host of issues. Cousins is one. Tyreke Evans shot selection certainly is one. The fact coach Paul Westphal can’t get either one of them to fall in line for him is another. And that’s just the part of the iceberg we can see above the waterline.
The Kings are taking some pretty strong steps with Cousins, but that may not be enough.