After Sacramento was hammered at home by San Antonio Monday night, the Kings’ star, DeMarcus Cousins, stormed into the locker room and cursed out head coach George Karl with a torrent of obscenities, a person close to the situation told The Big Lead.
After Cousins unleashed the F-bombs on Karl, all the head coach – who publicly feuded with the Kings best player last summer – could do was walk away, a source tells The Big Lead. Afterward, Cousins felt some remorse for his actions, asking a couple of teammates if he came down too hard on the coach. They calmly told him, “you can’t scream and curse like that at your coach in front of everyone.”
The day after the San Antonio loss, the players had a well-publicized players-only meeting. What hasn’t been reported is that after the players spoke, Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac and assistant GM Mike Bratz talked to the players and Divac asked the team, “We don’t know what to do with George [Karl], do you think we should fire him?”
The players, a person close to the situation said, were shocked and didn’t know how to respond. Stunned speechless and lacking a leader, the Kings then trotted out Omri Casspi and Caron Butler to meet the media. Casspi played for the team a few years ago, but was in Houston last season and just re-signed with Sacramento less than two months ago. Butler was signed in the offseason.
The Kings are 1-7 and once again going nowhere in the West.
The entire Sacramento locker room is frustrated. During the players-only meeting, the team’s 2013 lottery pick, Ben McLemore, spoke up. He said he was frustrated with his role, and he didn’t even know what his role was. Teammates responded: “Your role is to make 3-pointers and defend. That’s everyone’s role on this team except DeMarcus and Rajon.”
Karl signed a 4-year, $15 million contract in February, but it’s unclear if he’ll even make it to Thanksgiving as the team’s head coach. First-year GM Vlade Divac – who had a woeful summer where he repeatedly made knee-jerk blunders in free agency – needs the team to win this season, and he’s desperately trying to make that happen because he knows the team’s publicity-craving owner, Vivek Ranadive, wants to make another run at Kentucky coach John Calipari in 2016. And Calipari wouldn’t just be coming to coach – he’d have front office power, too.
Adrian Wojnarowski reported in June that Ranadive was interested in Calipari, and that interest has developed into full-blown man crush in recent months. The Kings over-drafting Willie Cauley-Stein 6th last summer was mostly due to Ranadive’s friendship with Calipari. Ditto the signing of Rajon Rondo.
In early October, The Big Lead has learned that Ranadive cleared everything off his schedule one week to jet to Lexington, Kentucky at the last minute at the behest of Calipari for a Kentucky basketball event.
Drake popping up courtside in Sacramento this week? A Calipari thing.
The Kings host the Pistons tonight, the Nets Friday and the Raptors Sunday before embarking on a 5-game road trip.