While the Kings stunned the Suns on a buzzer-beating game-winning jumper by DeMarcus Cousins, the mood wasn't as jovial at the All-Star center's locker following the game. Cousins questioned the media in a post-game rant for rumors suggesting that Cousins' camp is stalling talks between the Kings and George Karl for their open head coaching job. This comes after an agent for Cousins denied the claims earlier on Sunday as well, reports Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee.
Cousins finished with a game-high 28 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. It was Sacramento's first win in four games and third in its last 15. The Kings have received backlash for their abrupt firing of coach Michael Malone and hiring of Ty Corbin on an interim basis. That tag has since been removed.
"Nah I ain't pumped up. I just got a lot on my mind," Cousins told reporters. "And the crazy thing about it ... I just got a question for y'all. How are you gonna stop God's plan? How are you gonna do that? How are you gonna do that? That's what I want to know. How are you gonna stop God's plan? Man, this city done put me through so much, and I stayed loyal to it the whole time. Hey, I just wanna know how you gonna stop God's plan? God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. The marathon continues. I'm out."
The Karl-to-Sacramento talk heated up on Saturday when the Bee reported that the Kings and Karl held "intense conversations" about the team's head coaching position. However, later in the day, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that there was "rapidly diminishing belief" Karl would become the Kings' next coach as Cousins' camp was attempting to stall the talks. Corbin met with the Kings' front office after the win and left the arena still head coach, according to Wojnarowski. Karl remains a possibility, though.
The agent told Voisin that if the Kings want to hire Karl, then they should "make the move. We don't run the team." Voisin also reported that both the Kings and Karl's camp had "gone quiet." Kings general manager Pete D'Allesandro is reportedly determined to reach a deal with Karl.
Karl, who is currently a TV analyst for ESPN, has not coached in the NBA since the 2012-13 season with the Denver Nuggets. He has also been the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics and Milwaukee Bucks.
The Kings were expected to settle their coaching situation by Sunday, and wereprepared to pay out the rest of the season with Corbin as their coach, Wojnarowski reported Saturday night.
The Kings were 11-13 at the time of Malone's firing, and are now 18-32 following a last-second defeat to the Suns. The win kept the Kings in 12th in the Western Conference and 9.5 games behind the Suns for the final playoff spot.
- Mike Fiammetta