All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins lashed out at Sacramento Kings management, terming Sunday’s trade to the New Orleans Pelicans as “a coward move.”
Cousins’ sentiments were published by The Undefeated website on Friday, one night after the Pelicans were routed 129-99 in his New Orleans debut.
Cousins was asked if he would like to speak to Kings owner Vivek Ranadive or general manager Vlade Divac to hear why the team’s guarantee not to trade him didn’t hold up.
“Nah. For what? It was a coward move, so I’m pretty sure I will get a coward response,” Cousins said. “For what? And I’ve seen this happen before. I’ve been there through all same types …
“I was there with (coach) Mike Malone’s (firing in 2014). I’ve seen how they operate. I know what kind of answer I will get anyway. So, what is the point?”
Cousins feels betrayed by Divac, who recently stopped by Cousins’ house and told him he wouldn’t be traded and discussed ways to improve the team.
“The sick part about it is that Vlade came in my house with my agent (Jarinn Akana),” Cousins said. “We sat in my theater and just talked. That was maybe three weeks ago. We sat there and (he) told me what moves he wanted to make. All of that. I just didn’t understand.
“I got a text from the owner right before I went to All-Star (Game). He was asking me about a player, how I felt about him and making a move. The owner! When it happened, I was just in shock. I didn’t understand.”
Cousins heard rumors before the start of the All-Star Game that he might be headed to New Orleans. Then as he was about to meet with the media after the contest, Kings media relations director Chris Clark whispered in his ear that “there is serious talk about you possibly being moved.”
Cousins learned about the deal being official later that night but he didn’t hear the news from Ranadive or Divac. He said it should’ve been handled differently.
“Like a man. Like a professional. The more those guys talk, the more things come out,” Cousins said. “It’s just crazy. This ain’t something that happened in a few days. It has been discussed with more than one team. I just don’t understand.”
In January, the rumors were that the Kings planned to offer Cousins a five-year, $207 million contract extension. Before February ended, his Sacramento tenure was over.
Cousins had 27 points and 14 rebounds in his first game with New Orleans but the Pelicans were run out of the building by the Houston Rockets. His new All-Star sidekick, Anthony Davis, tallied 29 points.
“For some reason, I guess people expected a championship,” said Cousins, who is averaging 27.8 points and 10.7 rebounds. “I know the reality of it. We’ve had one practice and a shootaround. This isn’t something that is just going to happen overnight. Do we look good on paper? Yes. But being good on paper doesn’t win games.”
Cousins contract runs out after the 2017-18 season and he says he will consider signing a long-term contract with his new franchise.
“I’m not here to B.S. or waste time. I’m here to win,” Cousins said. “Whatever the system is, I’m dialed in. I’m all in. I’m not here to waste time. I’m not.”
(Editing by Andrew Both)