DeMarcus Cousins accuses Marcus Smart of cheap shot before altercation


BOSTON – DeMarcus Cousins is not happy.

Not happy with the Kings losing. Not happy with how he’s handling it. And not happy with Marcus Smart.

Cousins got ejected during Sacramento’s loss – its ninth in 11 games – to the Celtics yesterday for throwing Smart rookie to the floor as they went for a rebound. If you watch the above video from the beginning, though, that wasn’t their first contact on the possession.

“I did have an issue,” Cousins said. “It didn’t start with the box out. That’s where I feel a lot of people – it was the pick. He tried to run through my chest. Then, he came and I felt he took a cheap shot on the box out. And that’s what result to what happened. But even with that being said, I’ve got to make better decisions. The team depends on me every night, and I just can’t do things like that.”

Cousins noted he’d been previously injured on a similar play, but the Kings center – who picked up a technical earlier in the game for arguing a call – added: “I blame nobody but myself.”

“I let my emotions get the best of me and let it carry over into that last play, and I just can’t do that,” Cousins said. “I’ve got to be smart. I’ve got to make better decisions.”

Smart didn’t agree with Cousins’ characterization of the play.

“It was a box out,” Smart said. “So, that’s his opinion. Everybody saw the play. Like I said, I’m not going to back down from anything. If that’s what he thinks, that’s what he thinks.”

And the screen?

“Once again, that’s what he thinks,” Smart said. “I’m just playing defense.

“He knows that I’m not going to back down from him.”

The Kings’ 22-point loss to Boston was their biggest setback of the season – made even more discouraging by the Celtics’ 11-18 record. Sacramento’s only other two losses by more than 13 points had come to the first-place Warriors.

Firing coach Michael Malone has thrown the Kings’ season into chaos, and keeping Cousins out of the loop on that and replacement-coach Tyrone Corbin getting a rest-of-season contract hasn’t helped.

“We’ve got to come together as a team, myself included,” Cousins said. “I’m leader of this team, and I’ve got to get my stuff together as well. These guys are depending on me every night, and I can’t have games like I had tonight.”

Cousins, who set a preseason goal of five technical fouls for the season, now has four nearly 40 percent through the season.

Where does he go from here?

“To the next game,” Cousins said. “…Winning cures a lot. Get on a winning streak and see how the conversation goes then.”

Marcus Smart announces he recovered, cleared of coronavirus

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Marcus Smart stepped forward and self-identified as having tested positive for the coronavirus. He wasn’t showing any symptoms and went into self-quarantine, and last we heard was doing well.

Sunday, Smart said that two days ago he was cleared and has fully recovered from the virus.

Most importantly, this is excellent news for Smart and his friends and family (and, by extension, the Celtics). His health is the most important thing in this story.

The NBA has asked recovered players to donate plasma because scientists are hoping to use the blood — which has developed immunities — to help create a vaccine or medicine to slow COVID-19. It’s optional, but the league is encouraging players to help.

There have been 10 players and five NBA off-court staff — including Knicks owner James Dolan — who have tested positive for the disease. Fortunately, none of them have shown any advanced symptoms that required hospitalization.

Colorado junior forward Tyler Bey declares for NBA Draft

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University of Colorado forward Tyler Bey has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft:

The junior averaged 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game for the Buffaloes. Bey shot 53% from the field overall and 74.3% at the free throw line.

Bey also extended his range a bit in his third year at Colorado. He knocked down 13-of-31 three-pointers (41.9%) on the season. At just six-foot-seven, he’ll need to be able to score from behind the arc to find a place in the NBA.

Most draft analysts have Bey pegged as an early second-round pick. Some thought he could play his way into the back-end of the first-round with strong pre-draft workouts. With the pre-draft process up in the air, NBA front offices may have to make their decisions based on what they’ve already seen in person and on tape.

Stephon Marbury has arrangement to procure 10 million medical masks for New York

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Former NBA player Stephon Marbury told The New York Post that he’s arranged a deal to deliver 10 million N95 medical masks to New York. These masks are much-needed among healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marbury is having the masks produced at cost in China, where he played the last seven years of his career.

Although Marbury currently lives in Beijing, China, he said “At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn. This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”

While growing up, Marbury starred at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn and on New York City’s famed playgrounds. After one year at Georgia Tech, Marbury left for the NBA. The high-scoring guard played for five teams during his 13-year NBA career, including his hometown New York Knicks.

After sitting out for two seasons, Marbury signed to play for the Beijing Ducks in 2011. The move was initially seen as a way for Marbury to prove he could still play at an NBA level. Instead, Beijing became home-away-from home for the New Yorker.

Marbury averaged 21.6 points per game in 271 contests spread over seven seasons with the Ducks.

Georgetown sophomore Mac McClung declares for 2020 NBA Draft

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Georgetown sophomore Mac McClung told ESPN Jonathan Givony that he’s declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft.

McClung first came to national prominence when his high school highlights blew up on YouTube:

In his second season at Georgetown, McClung averaged 15.7 points and 1.4 steals per game. A foot injury in late-January kept McClung out of the lineup for nearly a month. He returned for one game in late-February, but played just eight minutes off the Hoyas’ bench.

The six-foot-two guard is known for his deep shooting range and his highlight dunks. McClung’s shot is inconsistent however, as he shot under 40% in each of his first two seasons at Georgetown. McClung’s defense also needs work.

McClung projects to be a point guard in the NBA, due to his size. To make it as a lead guard, he’ll need to work on his ballhandling and playmaking. With those question marks, McClung is seen as a stretch to be drafted in the second round.

McClung stated he’s signing with an NBA/NCAA approved agent. That will allow him to keep his college eligibility as he goes through the pre-draft process.