Jan. 2, 2012
If Kings coach Paul Westphal and his young center DeMarcus Cousins were married, it would be time for a divorce.
Since they aren't married, maybe it's time for Cousins to be traded or Westphal to go - or both.
Better players than Cousins have been traded and better coaches than Westphal have been fired.
Clearly the grounds exist for a quick separation on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
Even Rodney King would agree, "We all can't get along."
It's one thing to be in love with each other, but that doesn't mean you can live comfortably with each other.
They've each basically accused each other of lying. Westphal said, in an unusual press release, that Cousins twice demanded to be traded. Cousins denies that.
I found it interesting that the coach used the word, 'demanded', as opposed to 'requested' or 'asked.'
Westphal knew that particular word usage would put Cousins, 21, in a terrible light. Now, if Westphal was being direct and accurate in his assessment of what Cousins said, so be it.
Westphal says Cousins first said he wanted to be traded on Dec. 24. That day there should have been a meeting between management, Westphal, Cousins and his agent, John Greig.
That's before the season's first game.
I've been covering the NBA since 1978, 12 years before Cousins was born and six years after Westphal's rookie season with the Boston Celtics.
I've seen two players (together) on a championship-contending team walk, not knowing a reporter was there, into a coach's office after a game and tell him they wanted to be traded to his team.
Granted, the times of today have changed over the years. The NBA is comprised of much younger and lesser-prepared players.
Cousins is legally an adult, but two years ago, homeboy was in high school. In terms of being capable of merging his physical and mental components, I dont' see it, yet. Nor should he be, considering his basketball inexperience.
He's got to learn his craft during on-the-job training. And there is no way I believe Westphal knew what he really was in for when the Kings decided to draft Cousins.
Cousins' inability to get along with some authority figures in high school, one year of college and one year of NBA action have been well-documented.
Yet, Westphal has his own history with stubborn, forceful and talented performers as Gary Payton and former Kings guard Vernon Maxwell.
During the past few days, it has been suggested the coach may be incapable of mentally reaching these young players of today.
If that's true, it wouldn't be the first time. And not just for Westphal.
Sometimes I feel incapable of truly reaching my son, two months younger and 14 inches shorter than Cousins.
Kings President Geoff Petrie said Tuesday he wouldn't truly divulge every one of his thoughts when it was suggested the best move for all would be divorce court.
"If I was to believe that or say that...," he said, "what we're trying to do is put this thing together and make it work."
Greig, of course, is supportive of his client and said Tuesday Cousins has been unfairly singled out.
The situation that led to Cousins missing Sunday evening's victory over New Orleans began after Saturday night's loss to the New York Knicks. The agent said Westphal called Cousins 'selfish' and said he was the team's problem.
Clearly, Cousins is a problem, not 'the' problem.
Cousins later went into the coach's office, Greig said, and asked Westphal why he singled him out.
Greig said Westphal told Cousins, "I don't have time to talk to you about this."
If all this is true, it speaks to why these two need to be separated permanently.
And a Happy New Year to you.