Rajon Rondo Comments on DeMarcus Cousins, George Karl and More

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 2, 2015

SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 15: DeMarcus Cousins #15 and Rajon Rondo #9 of the Sacramento Kings look on during the game against the Toronto Raptors on November 15, 2015 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Sacramento Kings All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo recently joined with new teammate and fellow Kentucky productΒ DeMarcus Cousins to speak with head coach George Karl about the squad's early 2015-16 struggles.

Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears reported that Rondo, Cousins and Karl initially intended to meet for 15 minutes but instead had a "powerful" two-hour meeting, to use the floor general's own terminology:

We asked [Karl] to just sit with us so we can pick his brain and share our thoughts. What I love about [Karl] is he's very open. George is not a dictator. 'What can we do positively? What can we do to improve?' If you can come into a meeting with no egos and everyone was humble, it just works out for the better.

The Kings have gone 2-2 since the triumvirate's open discussion and are now 7-12. Both Rondo and Cousins have reputations as mercurial personalities, but they appear to be getting along well and making a genuine, unified effort to change Sacramento's fate.

Drawing on his experiences as an NBA champion with the Boston Celtics, where he played with Kevin Garnett, Rondo is attempting to mentor Cousins and implore him to realize his potential by fully buying in, per Spears:

Cousins has never played with a vet that he respected. I think I've got his attention a little bit. I think he respects what I say. He will do his own thing. I'm not trying to be his daddy. But I want to be his big brother like K.G. was to me, showing me the ropes and helping me along the way. Everything that I'm telling him, K.G. told me. Experience is everything. If someone has it and is willing to share it, I was always trying to soak in as much knowledge as possible.

Boogie does indeed respect Rondo, telling Spears, "The way we compete and the type of competitors we are, it's hard for us not to get along. We damn near think alike all the time. I'm soaking in all I can. He's a champion. I basically look up to him."

Sacramento's dynamic duo has encouraged Karl to be more aggressive and hold the players accountable by calling them out in film sessions to address shortcomings. Karl intimated that whether the on-court results are positive or negative, he will still have open lines of communication with his biggest stars.

The apparent synergy and willingness to coexist in the name of winning is certainly a step in the right direction. If the Kings are meant to have success this season, they have no choice but to band together in the extremely competitive Western Conference.

It also has to be a welcome development for both aforementioned players. Rondo had a turbulent, underwhelming stint with the Dallas Mavericks last season, while Cousins, as Rondo suggests, hasn't had the talent around him to produce consistent results or win much of anything.

An uptempo style of play has Sacramento with the NBA's second-fastest pace rating, per NBA.com, which is part of the reason why the Kings rank 29th in scoring defense. With a bit more effort toward getting stops and perhaps feeding Cousins more in the post, these compromising Kings may well turn the corner sooner than expected.


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