DeMarcus Cousins Kicked Out of Kings Practice After Arguing With Coach
Four-plus months after taking the risk and hoping for the reward, the former is far outweighing the latter.
After two incidents in mid-October led to a $5,000 team fine and the revelation that Cousins had been living up to his reputation for unpredictability, he was kicked out of practice on Monday, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Kings coach Paul Westphal disclosed his decision to the newspaper but didn't disclose his reasoning. Yet three sources with knowledge of the situation told FanHouse that Cousins was booted for having numerous arguments with Westphal during practice.
The situation, according to one team source, is hardly anything new in what has been a frustrating start for the 20-year-old and his 4-11 team.
"They always fight," the source said. "They can't get along."
Westphal himself alluded to this sort of back-and-forth dynamic after the last time news of a Cousins situation broke, telling FanHouse of Cousins: "He's a very honest player. He tells you what he thinks, and I'm an honest coach. I will not lie to him, and I'll tell him when I think he's doing well and I'll tell him when I think he needs to work on something. And he'll tell me what he thinks about what I think, and we'll work it out. That's what happens, and I like our relationship."
Still, there's no way Westphal is enjoying this melodramatic merry-go-round. What's more, Cousins' struggles haven't been only of the off-court variety.
He has struggled mightily to stay on the floor, leading the league in personal fouls per game (4.2) despite playing an average of just 23.3 minutes. His scoring and rebounding are third among league rookies (10.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game), but he is shooting just 38.4 percent overall and averaging a team-high 2.4 turnovers per game.
Westphal's coaching seat might have been red-hot right now if not for the fact that his $2 million contract option for the 2011-12 season was picked up following the Kings' 25-win season in 2009-10. As it stands, he has quite the task at hand not only to connect with Cousins but a number of his teammates who are privately grumbling about the steadily declining situation.
The Kings -- who have now lost 10 of their last 11 games -- host Indiana Tuesday and play at the Lakers on Friday.
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