X

George Karl Dishes on DeMarcus Cousins' NSFW Confrontation During Kings Tenure

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2020

SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings walks back to the bench past head coach George Karl after Cousins was called for a technical foul against the Boston Celtics in the first quarter at Sleep Train Arena on February 20, 2015 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 License Agreement.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Former Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl and assistant coach Vance Walberg provided details of a DeMarcus Cousins expletive-filled rant during the team's slow start to the 2015-16 NBA season.

Karl and Walberg appeared on the Purple Talk podcast (via James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area) Friday to discuss their time in Sacramento, including Cousins verbally attacking Karl for nearly a minute following a loss to the San Antonio Spurs that dropped the team's record to 1-7.

"As soon as [Karl] walks in DeMarcus just goes off, I mean off," Walberg said. "Coach hasn't even said a word and it's 'F you, Coach; you think you're a f--king Hall of Fame coach. All the hell you care about is your wins. You don't give a s--t about us.'"

Karl explained the coaching staff met with Kings management the next day and sought a short suspension for Cousins' actions, but the front office decided no punishment was necessary:

"DeMarcus and I had a confrontation after the game and we meet the next morning and we have a long serious talk that we can turn this into a win. Because we've got to suspend DeMarcus and whatever it is, for two or three games, and maybe he'll wake up that he can't be the boss. We went in and fought very hard that we had to suspend him."

The 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year and his assistant agreed on Purple Talk that situation marked the beginning of the end for the staff.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

"He knew he could divide the organization from the coach," Karl said about Cousins. "Unfortunately, if he knew that, then the players knew that."

Walberg added: "How are you going to have control in the locker room when you've got a player that can say and do what he wants?"

Cousins would later receive a one-game suspension in March 2016 for "conduct detrimental to the team," and he took a jab at Karl after returning to the lineup.

"That was no suspension from the organization. That was one from the head coach. There's a difference," Cousins told reporters. "There's been so much extra stuff this season. Extra, unnecessary stuff. There are a lot of battles between guys that should be on your side."

Karl was fired in April 2016 after the season ended. He posted a 44-68 record with Sacramento.

Cousins remained with the Kings until February 2017, when he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. He has since made stops with the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, who waived him in February while he was sidelined by a torn ACL suffered in August.

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!