Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kings sign Cousins' high-school coach

The Sacramento Kings announced Thursday evening they added an assistant coach, Otis Hughley.

Hughley was DeMarcus Cousins' head coach at LeFlore High School in Mobile, Al.

No way that is mere coincidence. The Kings billed it as a replacement for Bryan Gates, but it's difficult to imagine Hughley would be on board if Cousins were not.

Kings President Geoff Petrie acknowledged Hughley's previously established comfort level with Cousins played a role in the hiring.

"We brought him to Las Vegas for the summer league," Petrie said, "and he had a chance to sit and talk with Paul (Westphal). He's had a lot of success at the levels on which he's worked and obviously he's had a relationship with DeMarcus.

"We'd talked to DeMarcus' mother and she said he'd been a positive influence on DeMarcus. (Hughley) worked well at summer league with the rest of the coaching staff, so we thought it would be a good idea to bring him in. It was a good opportunity for us and him, too. He'd spoken to others in the league about moving to this level."

Hughley's hiring is a sign the Kings are trying to do whatever they can to ease Cousins' transition to the pro game.

Shoot, John Calipari didn't even make this move at Kentucky.

Hughley clearly was hired to help Westphal deal with Cousins and that's not a bad thing, although it does make one think.

Wow, the kid got his own coach after six summer-league games. What's the plan for mid-January?

We joke because we're half-serious. The initial reaction was the Kings think Hughley can help with Cousins. If that's the case, that's all good.

Anything the organization can do to help this kid flourish should be done.

However, there are the secondary thoughts the Kings were scared by Cousins' actions during summer league. Perhaps Westphal immediately recognized he was incapable of dealing with the talented rookie.

It's not as if Hughley comes with no credentials. He worked more than 10 years at Pete Newell's Big Man Camp and if Cousins' advanced footwork is any indication of Hughley's teaching skills, he needs no further resume updates.

Hughley also coached at Wright State (Ohio), Liberty (Va.) and Southern (La.) before spending the past seven years at LeFlore.

This is an unconventional move for Petrie's Kings, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

Just like everything Kings these days, we must wait and see.


  1. Back when I was in high school I went to Bill Cartwright's basketball camp one summer and I seem to remember his high school basketball coach following him to both college and then the Knicks who he was playing for at that time? I could be wrong?

  2. Lol, yes, you could be wrong. Then again, you could be right. I'm not sure about Cartwright's coaching history or his relationship with his h.s. coach. I'll check it out though... I remember the Kings bringing in CWebb's college coach after the picked him up. Who knows what type of effect that had on him. Actually, I never asked him. But bringing in Hughley can't hurt.

  3. I can't help but think this sends up a big red flag regarding the kid. I understand he's only 19, but he's getting paid a lot of money. He should have to listen to whomever the kings tell him to listen to. They shouldn't have to hold his hand and bring in someone he's familiar with just so he'll pay attention.

  4. If the Kings would have had someone to help the Webber/Vlade Kings with their free throws they might have a ring to show for it but they didn't and they don't. This kid is a project so they better be ready to do what it takes to bring him along even if they have to hire his grandma. The Kings gave up on Wallace early and look what kind of player he is today.

  5. Aaron, I think it actually sends a brighter flag about Westphal. It's important for us all to realize these are 19-year-olds and that's how they are going to act. Coaches have to learn how to deal with these young talents and all that comes with them. Some will require more guidance and attention than others. I have a 19-year-old son, too, so I know. DeMarcus hasn't proven he won't listen... And if he needs his hand held - like some of us do at times - the bottom line is to help him maximize his skill. Ultimately, time will tell. thanks for the comment. peace

  6. rulal, you are so right about those free throws. as I've written many times, if you get outshot from the line by shaq in a home game that will take you to the finals, you didn't deserve to go. That has to be earned. As for gwallace, they had to make a decision in an unusual circumstance (expansion... Hindsight is a valuable, albeit, useless tool... peace

  7. @Marty Mac's World: Good points. Here's hoping he takes advantage of everything provided and lives up to his potential. Now if only I could afford season tickets. Guess I'm going to have to talk my boss into it.

  8. If you need to bring in a High School Head Basketball Coach to be an influence on a rookie NBA player, then they should just hire his Momma, to cook his lunches, and find a job for his Girlfriend in the front office so he can be at ease some more... This is pathetic. When a grown ass man gets drafted to be a Professional, he should act like a man, and not need his High School coach to be his positive influence... That should be the responsibility of the individual to grow the heck up, and listen to his coach in the Pro's... Talk about coddling a baby boy, ridiculous!

  9. I'm watching the Lakers - Kings game right now, and heard that the Kings had done this hiring of this Cousin's High School coach. That is such a shame that the kid needs something like that to make him behave himself as a pro ballplayer. It's wrong, and I hope other NBA, or any major pro sport never tries this. Like Anonymous said, the Kings might as well hire his friends and family to keep him happy. This story is Sad, and Stupid at the same time.