Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Sacramento Kings
Posted on: January 5, 2012 2:35 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 2:49 pm
 

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

Posted by Royce Young

It seemed it was only a matter of time.

The Sacramento Kings announced the firing of head coach Paul Westphal Thursday, according to a release from the team.

“I want to thank Paul for all of his effort on behalf of the Kings,” said general manager Geoff Petrie. “Unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Assistant Keith Smart, who was the head coach of the Warriors last season, will take over interim duties for the Kings.

While the Kings have come out of the gates slowly while also looking disorganized at times, it's hard not to think that this had more to do with DeMarcus Cousins than anything else. The Kings picked Cousins. It's really as simple as that.

Westphal seemed to be at constant odds with the talented big man from Kentucky, suspending him last season for a locker room scuffle with a teammate, benching him for mocking an opponent and then suspending him again this season for reportedly yelling "Trade me!" following a game. Westphal even had the team's PR staff send out a release on his behalf announcing that Cousins demanded a trade.

Westphal though seems to be handling the firing with class.

“I would like to thank the Maloof family for the incredible opportunity they gave me to participate in the attempt to bring the Sacramento Kings back to prominence," Westphal said in the release. “While the job is far from finished, I am proud of the strides we were able to make. Geoff Petrie and his staff have been nothing but honest and supportive throughout my time here. They are first class in every way and I wish them nothing but success. My hope is to see the fans of the Kings and the city of Sacramento rewarded with many years of great basketball."
 
Teams fire coaches in these situations out of fear for their young talent. If it's perceived that young players are seeing their growth stunted by a stubborn head coach or just a guy that's not connecting with them, he's out. The Thunder did that very early on after a little more than a season with P.J. Carlesimo. You don't mess around when you're trying to develop young players.

Consider a young player like Jimmer Fredette who has walked into this situation and is trying to learn how to play NBA basketball with all this dysfunction around him. It can't be easy.

But it's hard to shake the Cousins situations. There's no question that Cousins is an immature, strong-headed player. Following a game this season where he was asked about the team's offense he snapped sarcastically, "What offense?" So you can understand Westphal's frustration, especially since he's a veteran coach that has been around the league for a long time. It just wasn't a fit. The team probably wasn't responding to him in practice, they looked disjointed and unorganized on the court and it was time for a change. I bet Westphal is actually relieved. 

Last season in December, there was a report out that Westphal had "all but lost his team" but managed to survive the season. Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com wrote this though last night after the Kings got pasted by the Nuggets: "Other than that, the Kings did a great impression of a team that has quit on its coach. How else to explain 2-for-20 shooting from deep, 32.6 percent shooting overall, plus 12 assists and 17 turnovers as a team? The Kings either quit on Westphal or they're playing like they're afraid he's going to write another press release about him." A few hours later, he's gone. 

Plus, you can't ignore the Kings situation in Sacramento. They are looking to get a new building financed or they could be moving to Anaheim. A lame duck coach with a team that hates itself isn't exactly the way to drum up public support.

Westphal was the coach of the team for two-plus seasons and had a record of just 51-120. He was in the final year of his contract with Sacramento this season.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:03 am
Edited on: January 5, 2012 1:06 am
 

Report Card: Nuggets complete amazing alley-oop

Posted by Ben Golliver.

Here's the CBSSports.com Eye On Basketball nightly report card summarizing Wednesday's NBA action. 

A+: Nuggets complete no-look, over-the-head alley-oop

This is as spectacular and joyous as NBA basketball gets. Up big in the fourth quarter, the Denver Nuggets mercilessly pushed the ball down the Sacramento Kings' throat on their way to a dominant 110-83 victory. There was no bigger exclamation point than this alley-oop from guard Rudy Fernandez to trailing forward Kenneth Faried

Fernandez secured the ball as he approached the baseline, touch-passing it with two hands into the air over his own head without taking a second look or turning around. Faried, a high-jumping rookie, converted the oop for his first points as a pro. There's no possible better way to begin your career than this. Take a look.




A: DeRozan powers Raptors from deep

For a good long while there, it was looking like Canadian writer Holly MacKenzie was the only person besides DeMar DeRozan and his immediate family who believed that significant improvement on the perimeter was a realistic possibility for the athletic Raptors wing. I certainly counted out his potential as an all-around, defense-stretching presence after he managed to hit just nine 3-pointers in his first two seasons, connecting on less than 20 percent from downtown. It was a fatal flaw, and he apparently spent all lockout correcting it. Often seen at National Basketball Players Association meetings rocking the famous "Basketball Never Stops" t-shirts, DeRozan unveiled the fruit of his offseason labors against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, knocking in five 3-pointers -- as many or more than he made in each of his first two seasons -- to finish with 25 points.

That, plus 31 points from Andrea Bargnani and some stepped-up defensive intensity under new coach Dwane Casey has Toronto out to a 3-3 start. Nothing to write home about quite yet, but still quite a bit better than the dismal preseason prognostications.

B+: Spurs role players provide fourth quarter push

Any time reserved San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is so fired up late in a game that he's beelining onto the court in celebration, something is going unusually right. In this case, it was a purposeful 31-20 fourth-quarter that saw the Spurs put away the Golden State Warriors at home despite 38 points and 7 assists from Monta Ellis. Tony Parker had the prettiest highlight with a tear drop in the lane but a scoring burst from the unlikeliest of sources, T.J. Ford, and contributions from Richard Jefferson and Danny Green provided some reassurance after the loss of Manu Ginobili to injury earlier this week.

C: Timberwolves hang tough but fold

Everyone's favorite "little engine that could" continues to fall just short in the most painful ways. On Wednesday, they dropped a close one to the Memphis Grizzlies, who were reeling from the news that forward Zach Randolph would be out up to two months with a knee injury, 90-86. The loss saw a 27-point, 14-rebound, 2-block effort from Kevin Love and another double-double from rookie point guard Ricky Rubio go to waste. The culprit? Poor late-game foul-shooting. The Timberwolves knocked down 13-for-24 from the charity stripe for the game and made just 4-for-10 in the final frame. Instead of pulling even to .500, the Timberwolves left another win on the table.

D: Knicks lose ugly one home to Bobcats

It was a pretty miserable night in the Big Apple for the Knicks, who mostly stood around and watched as the Charlotte Bobcats shot 55.3 percent as a team and had six players in double figures, led by the hefty Boris Diaw with a remarkable 27 points on just 15 shots. The Bobcats, who entered the game with just one win, aren't that good, the Knicks simply made them look like world-beaters with dumb fouls, dumb shots, and 17 turnovers worth of undisciplined play. Defensive centerpiece Tyson Chandler managed just six rebounds in 40 minutes and Toney Douglas shot a putrid 6-for-17, a performance that was so bad that the Madison Square Garden faithful was chanting in unison -- very loudly -- for Iman Shumpert to replace him during the second half.  

F: Kings roll over and die for Nuggets

The only time the Sacramento Kings did anything to make anyone cheer on Wednesday came when DeMarcus Cousins fouled Kenneth Faried with 13 seconds left -- and his team down by 25 -- so that Faried could convert two free throws and send the Denver crowd home with discounted tacos for reaching 100 points. Other than that, the Kings did a great impression of a team that has quit on its coach. How else to explain 2-for-20 shooting from deep, 32.6 percent shooting overall, plus 12 assists and 17 turnovers as a team? The Kings either quit on Westphal or they're playing like they're afraid he's going to write another press release about him.
Posted on: January 4, 2012 9:38 am
 

Report: Celtics have called about Cousins

By Matt Moore

The Boston Celtics have been involved in a half-dozen trade rumors since the lockout ended. It's assumed that they're pursuing one of the 2012 top free agents, but it's also apparent that they're just looking towards the future after the Big 3 to build a core going forward.

Meanwhile, the Kings continue to clash with temperamental power forward DeMarcus Cousins, even as Cousins rejoined the team off the bench Tuesday night in a loss to Memphis. The Kings continue to insist they will not trade the fiery big man, but having openly said he's demanded a trade, they're going to get offers.

You see where this is going. From the Boston Herald:
The Celtics, like most teams, have called Sacramento to gauge what it would take to trade for DeMarcus Cousins. The young, disgruntled Kings center has been suspended from the team for his disagreements with coach Paul Westphal.“It’s highly unlikely,” a league source said of the Celtics’ chances of landing Cousins. “I’m not sure that any team is going to get him. The thing is that everyone knows he’s a wreck. They’re not going to get what he’s worth.”
via Celtics plays it safe, sit hamstrung Jermaine O’Neal - BostonHerald.com.

The Celtics make a ton of sense as a trade partner. They have expiring contracts of veterans who could help the young players on the Kings go forward while keeping the team's financial flexibility. But they lack any significant asset to lure the Kings into even talking about moving Cousins, which they're resisting anyway. The Celtics wouldn't want to part with Rajon Rondo without getting a player like Tyreke Evans back alongside Cousins, and that's too much for the Kings to surrender, despite their struggles this year.

But for the moment, enjoy the concept of Kevin Garnett sharing a locker room with DeMarcus Cousins. The word, I believe, is kaboom.
Posted on: January 3, 2012 11:25 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2012 1:02 am
 

Report Card:The Bulls won ugly



By Matt Moore
 and Ben Golliver

A+ Andrew Bynum

The performance of Tuesday night came from Lakers forward Andrew Bynum, who continues the tear he's been on since returning from a 4-game suspension. Bynum notched 21 points, 22 rebounds and 3 blocks in a 108-99 victory over the Houston Rockets and finished with a game-high +17. Bynum again did work on both ends -- six offensive rebounds -- and was a monster around the hoop. Houston's bigs offered little resistance. The game marked the first 20/20 night of Bynum's career.

A Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers flew by the Thunder in the second half. Their team defense on Kevin Durant was crucial, particularly in keeping him off the line. The Thunder live at the stripe and the Blazers managed to force Durant into an inefficient night while not letting him get to the line. Throw in their usual great team defense and a huge win on the road.

A LaMarcus Aldridge

Aldridge battled Kendrick Perkins all night. And he worked him over. 30 points and 8 rebounds for Aldridge, who repeatedly torched him in the post and face-up. Perkins got under his skin, as you can see.



But Aldridge won the game, and repeatedly bodied Perkins out of the way to score at the bucket. Perkins only managed to get to LMA after he'd done his damage.

B Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies needed to get a win to stop their bleeding. Say hello to the Kings. It's a weak opponent but the Grizzlies needed a dominant performance and they got it from Rudy Gay with 23 points and 8 rebounds on 10-16 shooting. Without Zach Randolph but with Mike Conley returning, maybe the Grizzles can right the ship as the schedule evens out.

C Bismack Biyombo

Biyombo is pretty much what we thought he'd be. He makes a huge impact with his length but also gets lost on rotations and blows several possessions. In the Bobcats' loss to the Cavs you were impressed with the way he could impact plays like a giant tarantula covering the rim, but he also wound up -14 on the night.

D Sacramento Kings

Will someone get some water? Because Paul Westphal's chair has caught fire.

F Chicago Bulls' first-half offense

The Bulls scored 24 points... in a half. They had an efficiency rating of 54 in the first half against Atlanta, with a standard efficiency mark at any time during the game between 90 (poor) and 110 (vey good). So 54 is the lowest I've ever seen. They were beyond horrific. Only to be topped by...

F Atlanta Hawks' fourth-quarter execution

The Hawks were outscored 34-18 in the final frame, and did everything wrong. Took mid-range jumpers. Fouled Luol Deng 100 times. Didn't help enough on Derrick Rose, especially on the game winning layup. And the free throws. The Hawks clanged free throw after free throw when they had a chance to win, particularly Jeff Teague with seven seconds left which would have made it a three-point game. The Bulls did enough to get the win, but you have to say the Hawks lost this game more than the Bulls won it.
Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:11 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 10:20 pm
 

Cousins to rejoin Kings as trade offers pop up

By Matt Moore

Update (9:45 p.m.): Cousins issued a statement via his agent and SI.com has the details. "I want to address my missing the New Orleans game Sunday. I have not demanded or requested a trade. I don't agree with the actions taken but will give my sincere effort to put it behind me and compete the best I can for my team."

In other words, this isn't over. Not by a long shot. 

*******

As the fallout from the Kings sending DeMarcus Cousins home following what Paul Westphal publicly described as a trade demand continues, teams are circling even as the Kings continue to say they are not trading the volatile young big man. 

SI.com reports that the Nets have expressed interest, and the Washinton Post says the Wizards have called to inquire about pairing Cousins with his Kentucky teammate John Wall in Washington. Both teams believe the Kings are following through on their refusal to trade him.  

In the same vein, Yahoo Sports reports that Cousins is going to joing the team on its road trip, effectively ending his suspension-that-isn't-a-suspension, or his grounding, or whatever.

If the Kings aren't going to trade him, and they were going to let him back on the team, then why announce to the world his situation? Westphal actually took a measured approach Sunday, saying that the reason was because one way or another the media would be asking about it. Still, it seems like throwing Cousins under the bus for very little gain. Expect the Kings to continue to receive offers, albeit low ones, to try and get the talented powder keg.
Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:07 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 2:50 pm
 

Kings say they will not trade DeMarcus Cousins



By Matt Moore


UPDATE: According to SI.com, the Cousins will re-join the Kings on their upcoming road trip to Memphis and Denver.

Despite the explosive situation between DeMarcus Cousins and head coach Paul Westphal, Kings ownership says it will not trade the temperamental but talented young power forward, ownership told the Sacramento Bee.
"We leave that stuff (the benching) to the basketball people," Kings co-owner Joe Maloof said before tipoff, "but we're not trading him."
via Ailene Voisin: Situation is 'tip of the iceberg,' coach says, so where is the rest? - Sacramento Sports - Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee.

The Kings not trading Cousins is the proper path. There's absolutely no way to get adequate value after releasing a statement of the nature of Westphal's. They have a player they don't feel they can control, and with Cousins' talent, they can't simply dump him off, especially with the struggles of the team thus far this season.

As for Westphal, he spoke to reporters prior to the Kings' game against the Hornets. Kings blog Cowbell Kingdom has video, and the comments are pretty interesting.



Something that stands out here, is this quote from Westphal (transcribed by Cowbell Kingdom):
“Well, it’s interesting that he told me before he told his agent, but he told me twice. So it’s silly to have the agent deny it just because he didn’t get a call before DeMarcus talked to me that’s the easiest one of all to answer.”
Westphal is explicitly claiming that the trade request was legitimate and that Cousins simply hasn't informed his agent, rather than his agent's interpretation, which is that Cousins was saying, in effect, "If that's the situation, then trade me" which is different from a trade demand. We're talking semantics here, but they're important on all sides. 

It's also notable that Westphal says that to solve the situation, Cousins needs to do some soul searching. There's explicitly no claim of responsbility for the situation on Westphal's part. Which, if the situation is as bad as Westphal claims it is, isn't necessarily a fault. But it sets the table for how this situation is developing, which is that the coach feels this is all on the back of Cousins and not a two-way communication issue.

Tom Ziller at SBNation.com notes that the fact that the Kings did not suspend Cousins, instead just "sending him home," speaks to how the organization is being run. A suspension escalates the situation as it restricts his pay and can be appealed by the NBPA.

After this many incidents, however, at some point the Kings are going to have to face the situation head-on. Either Cousins is a part of the team's long-term future, or Westphal is. Because its hard to see either Cousins or Westphal changing their path at this point. It's not resolving itself, and even if Cousins is lacking in maturity, painting him into a corner this way isn't going to do anything to foster an environment of growth. Cousins may be too much of a problem to keep, but he's too talented to let go.

The Kings, for the moment, are stuck.

Here's reaction to the situation from Kings players after the game, courtesy of Cowbell Kingdom. There's a wide range of comments here, with the Kings players showing the kind of professionalism that Cousins needs to learn, even if Westphal is handling the situation badly (which is certainly up for interpretation). Yahoo Sports reports that Kings players have been irritated with Cousins' behavior for some time, with one source calling him "a bully."


Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:05 pm
This entry has been removed by the administrator.

Post Deleted by Administrator

This message has been removed by the administrator.

Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:02 pm
 

Kings say they will not trade DeMarcus Cousins

By Matt Moore

Despite the explosive situation between DeMarcus Cousins and head coach Paul Westphal, Kings ownership says it will not trade the temperamental but talented young power forward, ownership told the Sacramento Bee.
"We leave that stuff (the benching) to the basketball people," Kings co-owner Joe Maloof said before tipoff, "but we're not trading him."
via Ailene Voisin: Situation is 'tip of the iceberg,' coach says, so where is the rest? - Sacramento Sports - Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee.

The Kings not trading Cousins is the proper path. There's absolutely no way to get adequate value after releasing a statement of the nature of Westphal's. They have a player they don't feel they can control, and with Cousins' talent, they can't simply dump him off, especially with the struggles of the team thus far this season.

As for Westphal, he spoke to reporters prior to the Kings' game against the Hornets. Kings blog Cowbell Kingdom has video, and the comments are pretty interesting.



Something that stands out here, is this quote from Westphal (transcribed by Cowbell Kingdom):
“Well, it’s interesting that he told me before he told his agent, but he told me twice. So it’s silly to have the agent deny it just because he didn’t get a call before DeMarcus talked to me that’s the easiest one of all to answer.”
Westphal is explicitly claiming that the trade request was legitimate and that Cousins simply hasn't informed his agent, rather than his agent's interpretation, which is that Cousins was saying, in effect, "If that's the situation, then trade me" which is different from a trade demand. We're talking semantics here, but they're important on all sides. 

It's also notable that Westphal says that to solve the situation, Cousins needs to do some soul searching. There's explicitly no claim of responsbility for the situation on Westphal's part. Which, if the situation is as bad as Westphal claims it is, isn't necessarily a fault. But it sets the table for how this situation is developing, which is that the coach feels this is all on the back of Cousins and not a two-way communication issue.

Tom Ziller at SBNation.com notes that the fact that the Kings did not suspend Cousins, instead just "sending him home," speaks to how the organization is being run. A suspension escalates the situation as it restricts his pay and can be appealed by the NBPA.

After this many incidents, however, at some point the Kings are going to have to face the situation head-on. Either Cousins is a part of the team's long-term future, or Westphal is. Because its hard to see either Cousins or Westphal changing their path at this point. It's not resolving itself, and even if Cousins is lacking in maturity, painting him into a corner this way isn't going to do anything to foster an environment of growth. Cousins may be too much of a problem to keep, but he's too talented to let go.

The Kings, for the moment, are stuck.

Here's reaction to the situation from Kings players after the game, courtesy of Cowbell Kingdom. There's a wide range of comments here, with the Kings players showing the kind of professionalism that Cousins needs to learn, even if Westphal is handling the situation badly (which is certainly up for interpretation). Yahoo Sports reports that Kings players have been irritated with Cousins' behavior for some time, with one source calling him "a bully."

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com