DeMarcus Cousins on Charles Barkley: “I don’t respect him”


DeMarcus Cousins has been in the news a lot lately. During the drawn-out Ty Corbin/George Karl saga, his reps reportedly had problems with the Karl hire. TNT’s Charles Barkley said on TV that Cousins doesn’t have the clout or accomplishments yet to have that kind of influence with the organization, and Cousins didn’t take too kindly to the criticism.

From’s Ohm Youngmisuk:

“It ain’t personal,” Cousins said when asked about the TNT analyst. “I mean, I don’t really respect the guy, but at the same time, I don’t really care what he thinks either.

“I don’t respect him and I don’t care what he thinks.”

When asked if Barkley is considered an authority because of his opinions on television, Cousins didn’t seem to agree.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s anybody of an authority,” Cousins said. “I would just say he is very comfortable on the television.”

Cousins had his name dragged through the mud to an extent during the last few weeks. Publicly, he’s been supportive of both Corbin and Karl, but his agents’ history with Karl made news. It’s obvious that he’s not happy about this, and he’s not interested in hearing Barkley say he hasn’t won anything yet. He hasn’t, but he made his first All-Star team in the midst of a huge amount of instability.

It should be fun to hear Barkley inevitably fire back. It’s coming.

Rick Carlisle: Monta Ellis, not Dirk Nowitzki, should be an All-Star


For a while, the Mavericks appeared to have a shot the best team whose players were all shut out of the All-Star game.

But the 2012-13 Denver Nuggets, who went 57-25, are safe.

Adam Silver selected Dirk Nowitzki as Anthony Davis’ injury replacement, and Dallas is surely happy to get one player in. Sure, the 36-19 Mavericks might have wanted another All-Star – Rick Carlisle’s pick of Monta Ellis or the resurgent Tyson Chandler – but they’re happy to have at least one.

It’s just which one that bothers the coach.

Carlisle on 103.3 FM ESPN on Ellis:

Let’s be honest. He should be at the All-Star Game and Dirk should be home.

I mean, that’s the way this should be going. I’m assuming they go by the vote count, and Dirk may have had one more vote than Monta or something like that. But Monta Ellis should be in the All-Star game.

He’s a tremendous player, and if it continues like this, he may be known as the best player that never made an All-Star game. He is that good. But I really do believe down the road he’s got a lot more chances to get in there.

He’s that good, and he’s getting better, too. At age 29, his skill level continues to rise. His recognition of situations is better and so on and so forth.

I’m really disappointed that he’s not there, because this was his year to be there after all the things he’s done. He’s leading the team in minutes played and points, and he’s made more big shots down the stretch of games than anybody on the team. And Dirk’s made a lot, too.

Dirk is certainly deserving. Don’t get me wrong. But Monta, this was his time to be there.

As Carlisle alluded, Silver let the coaches’ reserve vote dictate selecting DeMarcus Cousins as an injury replacement. The commissioner probably did the same with Nowitzki.

I don’t think Carlisle’s comments are about whether Ellis or Nowitzki – whom I picked as a reserved even before injuries – deserves it more. I think it’s about who’d appreciate it more.

Nowitzki is a 13-time All-Star. He played a game-low eight minutes in last year’s All-Star game. In his two before that, 2011 and 2012, he played 14 minutes each. This is old hat for the 36-year-old, who doesn’t really want to waste his energy in the exhibition game.

Ellis has never been an All-Star, and he’s having an excellent season. He’d definitely relish the opportunity.

However, he’s just not good enough. Mike Conley is the best non All-Star in the Western Conference, which has 15 players selected for the game. Ellis falls in line somewhere after that.

I wonder how strongly Carlisle believes what he said. He surely knows Nowitzki won’t take offense, and this could be a way of connecting with Ellis. Carlisle’s job is to bring out the best in the Mavericks, not to accurately diagnosis All-Star selections.

Has 2015 set record for All-Star injury replacements?


Adam Silver wants to expand NBA All-Star rosters, and in practice, he has.

The NBA commissioner has named four injury replacements – DeMarcus Cousins for Kobe Bryant, Damian Lillard for Blake Griffin, Kyle Korver for Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki for Anthony Davis. So, instead of 24 All-Stars, we have 28.

Is that a record for injury replacements? Not quite.

But it sets a record for starters replaced with Kobe, Griffin and Davis having been voted Western Conference starters.

Both 2007 and 1997 featured five injury replacements, and 2010 and 2001 each had four. No other year had more than two.


  • Joe Johnson replaced Jason Kidd
  • Josh Howard replaced Carlos Boozer
  • Ray Allen replaced Allen Iverson
  • Carmelo Anthony replaced Yao Ming*
  • Mehmet Okur replaced Steve Nash


  • Chris Webber replaced Patrick Ewing*
  • Joe Dumars replaced Alonzo Mourning
  • Detlef Schrempf replaced Charles Barkley*
  • Chris Gatling replaced Clyde Drexler
  • Kevin Garnett replaced Shaquille O’Neal


  • David Lee replaced Allen Iverson*
  • Jason Kidd replaced Kobe Bryant*
  • Chauncey Billups replaced Chris Paul
  • Chris Kaman replaced Brandon Roy


  • Latrell Sprewell replaced Grant Hill*
  • Dikembe Mutombo replaced Alonzo Mourning*
  • Antonio Davis replaced Theo Ratliff
  • Vlade Divac replaced Shaquille O’Neal*

*Voted a starter

It’s still possible, though unlikely,, 2015 matches the record for total injury replacements.

Carmelo Anthony seems set on playing, though it’s not a total certainty he will. And if someone can beat Kevin Durant one-on-one, that’s another spot available.

Three Things We Learned in NBA Thursday: Tony Snell’s becoming a thing for Bulls


If you watch closely every night in the NBA you can learn a little something. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to help with those lessons from another night in the Association. Here’s what you missed while knitting sweaters for penguins….

1) The Bulls can put together an impressive game. Sporadically. Before the season — heck, even now — you look at the Bulls on paper, and you think that should be the best team in the East. But over the course of the season we have seen only flashes of that Bulls team — we saw it again on Thursday night as the Bulls handled the hot Cavaliers. Derrick Rose was attacking and put up 30 points, putting pressure on the improved Cavaliers defense the whole time. Pau Gasol had his 14th straight double-double. Most importantly, the Bulls defended like we expect them to (something that has not happened much this season). In no way was this a playoff preview; there was no Jimmy Butler, no Kevin Love, and by mid-April both of these teams will be different anyway. But if you’re a Bulls fan, you can see  a statement win and a reason for hope in this.

2) Tony Snell is becoming a thing. That’s how our man Sean Highkin described it to me — he was at the game writing the dispatch for PBT. And he’s right. Snell put up 22 against the Cavaliers on 9-of-11 shooting, more importantly he played good defense on LeBron James all night (LeBron had eight turnovers on the night). Snell stepped up in the absence of Jimmy Butler, but it’s becoming a regular occurrence. He had 24 points against the Kings Tuesday night, last weekend he had 19 against New Orleans. If Snell can become a consistent force for the Bulls, they get that much better. But consistency has been the key with all things Bulls this season.

3) George Karl will try to bring stability to Kings organization. In his five years with the Sacramento Kings, DeMarcus Cousins has now had five coaches. While there were reports he and his agent were trying to block the hiring of Karl, in reality they wanted to express concern about how this franchise has seemed to shift plans every couple years. Part of that was the mess that the Maloof family ownership was its last few years. However, Vivek Ranadive hired Mike Malone to provide that structure and bring some professionalism to the organization, then once Malone didRanadive either decided or allowed (depending on what source you want to believe) the coach to be canned so they could become more of a running team. Karl is the kind of coach with the gravitas to change this pattern, and more than anything else he does that needs to be the ultimate goal. Pick a style, and then stick with it long enough for it to take root.

Stan Van Gundy: Kings’ treatment of Tyrone Corbin ‘inexcusable’


In the last week, the Kings marched very methodically and very publicly toward hiring George Karl.

Sacramento announced Karl’s hire today, but not before catching the ire of Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy.

Van Gundy – who employs former Kings coach Michael Malone’s father, Brendan Malone, as an assistant – via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

“I think it’s an unfortunate situation the way it’s been handled. I think Tyrone Corbin has been treated very, very poorly by their organization. I think the way they’ve treated him is unfortunate and inexcusable for one of the real class acts in our business.

“To have a very public coaching, not search, courting going on and while you’re asking him to coach games I think he’s handled it with a great deal of class.”

“I didn’t like that obviously with Brendan on the staff, but coaches get fired all the time,” Van Gundy said. “But then you give Tyrone the job and if you want to make a change, even if people don’t like it, obviously as an owner you have a right to make a change and that’s up to you.

“But you don’t need to do it the way they’re doing it now. That thing’s been in the news for two weeks now and Tyrone’s coaching and they obviously don’t have any problem treating him like that. I have a hard time understanding that one, I really do. Tyrone Corbin is a class act. He was a class act as a player. He’s a class act as a coach and he’s being treated very, very poorly.”

This isn’t Van Gundy’s only critique of another organization’s recent handling of a coach. He also slammed the Magic – who just fired Jacque Vaughn – for changing coaches too frequently, which is pretty rich coming from a Pistons coach.

This charge is particularly hypocritical considering Van Gundy’s treatment of the Kings in 2007. Van Gundy was still under contract with the Heat, and when he didn’t believe he could join Orlando, he traveled to Sacramento to negotiate with the Kings. Then, Miami and the Magic reached an agreement on compensation.

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel:

Van Gundy agreed to become the Magic’s coach, signing and faxing a copy of his contract back to Orlando from a Sacramento Kinko’s.

Van Gundy did not keep the Kings abreast of the developing situation in Orlando, however.

“I’m not happy with the way I handled the whole thing,” Van Gundy said before the Magic faced the Kings on Tuesday night.

“I was not forthcoming on that day and I should have been when things started to break in Orlando.

“I was totally acting in my own self interest.”

To the contrary, the Kings were pretty forthcoming with Corbin. He was struggling, and they replaced him with a better coach. How else were they supposed to go about it?

They had to make sure all their ducks were in a row – including with franchise player DeMarcus Cousins – and negotiate a contract with Karl. In the meantime, they needed someone to coach their games.

That was Corbin, who got a new contract after Sacramento fired Malone. Corbin will still get his money, and so it’s hard to get too upset about this.

I get why coaches stick up for other coaches. They understand the perils of the profession, and they don’t like when one of their own gets fired. But if they whine about every dismissal, they lose credibility on their reasonable complaints.

Corbin just wasn’t up to the job. That – not the Kings’ treatment of him – was the problem.