Report: DeMarcus Cousins told Kings not to fire George Karl

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George Karl reportedly tried to get the Kings to trade DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins effectively called Karl a snake in the grass.

Cousins reportedly cussed out Karl. Karl reportedly tried and failed to get Sacramento to suspend Cousins.

This is not the healthiest player-coach relationship.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:

Still, sources on both sides believe the relationship is salvageable, at least for the rest of this season. Cousins wants to win and he knows playing for a fourth coach in the last two years isn’t going to get him any closer to it. He has made it clear to Kings executives that he doesn’t want Karl fired, according to sources. And Karl understands he can’t meet ownership’s expectations without him.

Given Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé’s loyalty to Cousins, this is an endorsement that matters.

Cousins has played for five coaches in six seasons, and Karl – in a vacuum – is the best one.

But we’re not in a vacuum. The toxic past between Karl and Cousins could haunt them.

If he wants Karl to stay, it’s incumbent on Cousins to do better by the coach. No more postgame tirades. No more sulking.

Mannix:

last season Karl wanted to ban Cousins for a game for bad body language during timeouts, according to two sources familiar with the situation.

Karl is not blameless, either. He must communicate better with his players. Needing a strong season to keep his job, Karl has skin in the game, too.

This could work if there hasn’t been too much damage done already. I thought it might be too late, but Cousins lobbying to keep Karl suggests there’s at least a chance these two can coexist and help the Kings turn around.

Now, it’s on them to determine what they make of this opportunity.