DeMarcus Cousins and George Karl had an awkwardly short meeting at summer league
The Kings’ latest hire – Nancy Lieberman as assistant coach – said her summer-league interaction with Cousins went a bit better.
Lieberman, via David Aldridge of NBA.com:
Even when I went in the first day of practice, I’m sure a lot of these guys had no clue who I am, which is fine with me. But the next day it was, ‘Coach, I Googled you.’ ‘Coach, my dad told me who you are.’ We’re walking into the hotel after the first practice. I had not met DeMarcus (Cousins). And he held the door and I walked in, and he put his arm on my shoulder and said ‘you gonna be with us this year?’ And I said ‘I hope so. You want me to?’ And he said, ‘uh huh. Super.’ I connect to guys. I can laugh with them. I can be sarcastic with them. I have a son. I’ve been with this my whole life. What I am going to be is me…I’m consistently consistent. I’m a goofball. I’m a lifer. I’m demanding, because I demand that you be great. I demand that you be the best of who you are every day. I’ll give you reasons to show up and make the details matter. I want to inspire you, because I care. I want to pour love, kindness, passion, teaching into you every day. And I want you to know why Coach Karl has you on this team every day.
If Lieberman helps break barriers and opens doors for women in coaching, that would be fantastic.
But I think the people that pay her care a bit more about how she could help Cousins and Karl get along.
Cousins is the Kings’ best player, and he’s just 24 and signed long-term. He’s incredibly valuable – especially if he buys in.
Sacramento clearly wants to win now, and Karl has the tactical proficiency to maximize a limited roster. He won’t get far with Cousins’ support, though.
The Kings desperately need Cousins and Karl to click to avoid yet another step back. Any help Lieberman provides in that realm would be huge.