Tag:Sacramento Kings
Posted on: December 23, 2010 3:31 pm
 

Paul Westphal's seat could be getting hot

Posted by Royce Young

Nothing puts a coach's job in question quite like losing will. But when you combine that with rumors that he's "losing the team," well, then that's almost like getting the black spot.

That could be the situation for Kings coach Paul Westphal. Not only are the Kings playing miserable basketball at 5-21, but with the recent DeMarcus Cousins incident combined with the fact he may not be getting through to his players anymore, Westphal's days might be numbered. HoopsWorld reports that the Maloofs aren't pleased with the direction of the team on the floor and because of that, Westphal might be chopped soon.

Sources close to the situation say that Westphal has “all but lost his team” as well as the confidence of the (co-owning brothers the) Maloofs. Players, who expected improvement this season, believe that Westphal’s rotations and actions have made it nearly impossible for the young team to find success.

Behind closed doors, the players have questioned his philosophy and decision making throughout the season and only see things getting worse the longer he is on the bench.

The problem for the Kings in firing Westphal is that he's still owed over $2 million for this season and next. Sam Amick of Fanhouse confirmed via Twitter that HoopsWorld's report has a lot of truth to it, but mentioned the money issue as well.

How far Westphal has fallen. Last season when the Kings started off well and hovered near .500 for the first half of the season, some were calling him Coach of the Year material. Now the team has fallen apart, largely because of Tyreke Evans battling some injuries and also because of a dysfunctional roster, so Westphal might get the axe.

But as soon as a coach starts losing the ability to get through to players - especially young ones - management has no choice but to start anew. That might not be happening in Sacramento in the immediate future, but if the Kings don't start playing better, something will happen.
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 22, 2010 7:41 pm
 

Cousins chokes on his choke, gets benched for it

Posted by Royce Young

Before the draft, most agreed: DeMarcus Cousins was the most gifted player in the draft. The hangup? His head. Scouts and general managers all over wondered if he was simply immature or if he had the potential to be one of the league's newest head cases.

So far, it's looking like the latter.

Against the Warriors Tuesday night with the Kings (who are 5-21, mind you) holding a five-point lead with about 20 seconds left, Golden State's Reggie Williams missed a free throw. Cousins walked off his low block position, put his hand to his throat and made a pretty clear choking gesture directed at Williams.



What happened next is what made this kind of a big deal. The Kings ended up the chokers, blowing the lead capped by a Vladamir Radmanovic 3-pointer to send the game to overtime where naturally, Sacramento lost.

According to the Sac Bee's Jason Jones, Kings coach Paul Westphal said Cousins has been fined and benched until he grows up and acts more "professional."

"It’s unprofessional, childish, embarrassing and it won’t be tolerated," Westphal told reporters.

Cousins, on the gesture: "It was immature. I was caught up in the game and let my emotions get the best of me and shouldn’t have done it. But if I would have did it and we won it probably wouldn’t have had the same consequences afterward. "

Cousins obviously has some stuff to learn. He's been criticized a bit this season already for being lazy and has been kicked out of a few practices for different issues. However, a benching and a fine for a clearly silly gesture seems a bit extreme. Cousins said he doesn't think he would've been punished had the Kings won. He's probably right, because nobody would've really taken notice.

But at the same time, Cousins is walking down a path of being a problem player and Westphal is trying to teach his young big man a lesson. My problem here is, is that message getting through? Because to me, it doesn't look like Westphal has any idea how to get through to Cousins. To me, it seems like everything is bouncing off.

I'm sure Westphal got the attention of Cousins for this, but what happens when Cousins really screws up? What does he get then? A month suspension? A $500,000 fine? Because for this little thing, Cousins has been hit with a stiff penalty. From here on, anything Cousins does will require an even bigger penalty. Is that the best way to get the most out of an immature player? Probably not.

Westphal is citing sportsmanship and professionalism in regards to the punishment. He's right. It was stupid for Cousins to do. He should be embarrassed. And when the Kings visit Oracle Arena, Warrior fans are going to punish him even more. Was what Cousins did stupid? Absolutely. Is it something he derserved a strong talking to for, possibly with bad language littered in? Definitely. But benched and fined for it? That's a bit, well, over-the-top it seems.

But the whole point of this shouldn't be about PR or making yourself look like you're in control. It has to be about what's best for your young player. It has to be about developing both his talent and his head. Does Westphal's punishment do that? I don't think so at all. He's probably not reaching Cousins at all here. Just making the gap even wider.
Posted on: December 12, 2010 10:22 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:31 pm
 

Report: Kings' Evans to miss at least 3 games

Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans reportedly will miss at least the next three games with plantar fasciitis. Posted by Ben Golliver  tyreke-evans

We've followed the story of Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans' foot trouble carefully this season. Last week, Evans saw a foot specialist and received an MRI. Initially, it sounded like relatively good news, as the tests revealed that he didn't have a stress fracture, just an ongoing battle with plantar fasciitis. 

Plantar fasciitis is painful and can be debilitating, and the Sacramento Bee reports on Twitter that the ailment will force Evans to the sideline. The newspaper reports that Evans will not travel on the team's upcoming three-game road trip, meaning Evans is out at least a week. Evans, the 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year, will miss a Tuesday game at the Houston Rockets, a Wednesday game at the New Orleans Hornets and a Friday game at the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Kings next play at home on Sunday, Dec. 19, when they host the Rockets. The decision comes one day after Evans struggled in a loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday, playing 30 minutes but tallying just five points, one rebound and one assist, well below his season averages. 

The Kings have the third worst offense in the NBA and those struggles will only be exacerbated in Evans's absence, as Evans is the team's leading scorer on the year with 16.5 points per game. Sacramento will try to make due with a backcourt that includes Beno Udrih, Pooh Jeter, Luther Heat and Francisco Garcia.  The foot trouble for Evans is more bad news for a Kings team that has had a nightmare start to the 2010-2011 NBA season. The Kings are currently 5-16, just 1-9 in their last 10, and sit in fourth place in the Pacific Division. Update: As of early Monday morning, there is some waffling going on regarding whether or not Evans will sit this week. This post will update with any changes to Evans' status. Update 2: Evans, contrary to the initial report, missed just one game and travelled with the Kings to their Wednesday night game against the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets beat the Kings, 94-91, but Evans finished with a team-high 22 points and seven assists.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 5:32 pm
 

MRI reveals no stress fracture for Tyreke Evans

Posted by Royce Young

Tyreke Evans has been struggling a bit this season. Not just on the court though. But with a nagging injury. And that's probably what's affected some of his output thus far for the Kings.

Sacramento announced what many already knew earlier in the week that Evans has plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation in the foot. For a player that cuts and moves as much and as hard as Evans, surely it's having an impact on his play.

But because of all the stress on his foot, there was some worry he might have a stress fracture. He underwent a precautionary MRI and according to the Kings via Sactown Royalty, there's no fracture. Phew.

Evans' field goal percentage has fallen below 40 percent this season, down from 45 percent during his Rookie of the Year 2009-10 season. He's only playing a minute per game less this year, but yet Evans' per-game averages have all dipped. This season, he's is averaging 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game, which is somewhat disappointing considering the season he put up as a rookie.

The next game for the Kings is Saturday against the Miami Heat . Coach Paul Westphal has said he will only rest Evans if the player or medical staff indicate that it is needed. And by the way Evans has dealt with it thus far, there's no reason to think he's going to miss or want to sit out any more.
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:43 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:25 pm
 

Kings assistant Mario Elie arrested on DUI charge

Sacramento Kings assistant coach Mario Elie was arrested Wednesday night on Driving Under the Influence charges. Posted by Ben Golliver. mario-elie


You can't spell "Drinking" without K-I-N-G. 
Yes, I already regret that sentence, but it's true. Sacramento Kings assistant coach Mario Elie, he of the world champion Houston Rockets from the mid-1990s, was reportedly arrested on DUI charges Wednesday night, becoming the fourth member of the organization in the last 12 months to find himself in that situation. Take it away SacTownRoyalty.com.
Kings assistant coach Mario Elie became the latest member of the franchise to be arrested on DUI charges. KHTK 1140 AM broke the news that Elie was arrested at 2 a.m. in Sacramento, held overnight and released after bail was posted in the morning.
Elie joined the team as one of Paul Westphal's assistant coaches before the 2009-10. As the Kings have strugged, Elie was seen as the assistant most likely to take over the head coach's chair had the franchise decided to cut ties with Westphal. There is no chance that will happen now.
The Kings' current predicament offers plenty of reasons to hit the bottle for coaches and fans alike -- 2-8 in their last 10 games, questions about Tyreke Evans' foot, even more questions about DeMarcus Cousins' attitude -- but there's never an excuse for getting behind the wheel after drowning your sorrows.  Unfortunately for the Kings, this runs deeper than a single bad decision on Elie's behalf. In the past 12 months, two (now former) players -- Andres Nocioni and Antoine Wright -- were arrested on DUI charges, as was co-owner George Maloof. Throw in Evans' reckless driving and the Kings become, without question, more menacing on the highways and byways than they are on the hardwood. Surely, a large donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and a commitment to raise public awareness about designated drivers is in this franchise's future. Let's just hope the rest of the Kings employees are paying attention during the lip service.
Posted on: December 7, 2010 11:28 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:20 pm
 

The Game Changer: Heat win, Rudy hammers

Rudy Gay throws down a hammer, LeBron James makes a poster, a Los Angeles Clipper hits a 70 footer and the Miami Heat take care of business on the road. Posted by Ben Golliver

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: MIAMI HEAT TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

If the Miami Heat keep this up, we might actually have to give them some credit. Man, I hope that doesn't happen. The Heat got a solid, although not spectacular, road win on Monday night, dropping the Bucks in Milwaukee, 88-78.

Nobody on the Bucks could buy a basket, save reserve forward Corey Maggette, who finished with a team-high 20 points, and the Heat did a solid job of protecting an early lead during an even second half. There were a few highlights (see forward LeBron James starring in one of the prettiest below) but the low-scoring nature of the game and Miami's sloppy play (18 turnovers) put a premium on sharing the ball (20 assists on 35 field goals) and controlling the boards (48 to 35 advantage), and the Heat managed to do both.

Milwaukee, which drops to a disappointing 7-13 on the season, is really under-performing so far this year given the playoff-quality talent on their roster. But taking care of underwhelming, lesser-talented teams on the road is what everyone expected of these Heat, and they came through without too muck flak on Monday. The Big 3 formula sparkled again, combining for 58 of Miami's 88 points, plus 32 rebounds and 12 assists. Those numbers represent an absurd percentage of Miami's offense, and clearly Milwaukee had no answers for their collective athleticism.

The Heat improve to 14-8 on the season, and continue their road trip on Wednesday against the Utah Jazz, who will provide a more formidable test in an even more hostile environment than the Bradley Center.

RUDY GAY HAMMER:

This dunk came near the end of a road loss to the Utah Jazz, but Memphis Grizzlies wing Rudy Gay reminded everyone why he has been a Slam Dunk Contest participant in the past.

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

After hitting for 30 and 30 earlier this season, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love went off on the New York Knicks once again, taking home top honors Monday night.

Kevin Love:
33 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, one steal on 10-18 shooting in 42 minutes in a road loss over the New York Knicks.

Runners-up...


Josh Smith
:
19 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, one steal, four blocks on 9=17 shooting in 40 minutes in a road win over the Orlando Magic.

Carlos Boozer : 29 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, one steal on 13-21 shooting in 36 minutes in a home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

DON'T MISS:

WHIMSY:

Sometimes you don't need to dunk on an opponent to make a poster. Miami Heat forward LeBron James demonstrates this fact against the Milwaukee Bucks.

lebron-james-poster

WHIMSY II:

No, this isn't a photoshop.

FROM WAY DOWNTOWN:

Here's Los Angeles Clippers wing Ryan Gomes nailed a 70-footer at the first half buzzer, only it was a hair late and didn't count. The Clippers beat the Sacramento Kings anyway, 98-91.

Posted on: November 29, 2010 9:44 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:06 pm
 

DeMarcus Cousins kicked out of Kings practice

Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins was kicked out of practice by coach Paul Westphal on Monday. Posted by Ben Golliverdemarcus-cousins The Sacramento Bee reported on Twitter that Kings rookie big man DeMarcus Cousins, a highly-talented but polarizing one-and-done out of Kentucky, "was kicked out of practice" on Monday by head coach Paul Westphal, but that Westphal "didn't elaborate as to why." AOL Fanhouse reported that Cousins is "not happy and it's showing. Source close to team says he had numerous arguments with Westphal today at practice that led to booting." There's plenty of cause for consternation for Westphal, as the Kings are in last place in the Pacific Division, have lost 10 of their last 11 games and calls for his job by fans have already begun. He's tasked with trying to figure out why reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans has seemingly taken a half-step back this season, and he's trying to shake up his starting lineup by inserting Jason Thompson for Carl Landry. At a time like that, impatience with the slightest bit of insubordination is understandable. The stakes are pretty high and the entire environment feels tenuous. For Cousins, his playing time has been up and down, and he played just 15 minutes in a Saturday loss to the Chicago Bulls. He entered the NBA with the perception that he had a shot at averaging a double-double and contending for Rookie of the Year honors. He was said to be a potential franchise big man in the short-term, but so far he's averaging just 10.3 points and 6.7 minutes, coming off the bench more than starting. He's also been involved in a few minor team discipline issues and was assessed a fine in the first quarter of the season.  Almost certainly, more minutes will ease Cousins' frustration. Winning a bit more would help too, but it's a lot easier for rookies to handle losing while playing than losing while watching. The question here is whether Cousins can do and say the right things for long enough to convince his coach that he deserves the burn. 
Posted on: November 26, 2010 10:35 am
 

Shootaround 11.26.10: Shopping for a forward?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Shaq to WEEI: “This is a great team. The best team I’ve been on. They’ve got a lot of weapons on this team, so on any given night anybody can be the leading scorer. The team’s very unselfish, so the shots are going to drop off and they easily could have shot them and did that but…great game. Great team effort. And now we’ve just got to keep it going.”
  • And the Clips won another game, making that two straight. ClipperBlog: "Perhaps the Clippers players are beginning to realize that they have a rare talent in their midst, an unstoppable force that can leave opponents demoralized and turn around the fortunes of a franchise, its history and curse be damned. Whether that story will be written in the coming months and years remain to be seen. But the first draft of that narrative is beginning to look promising."
  • Sactown Royalty: "We criticize, of course, but does anyone see an easy fix? Re-inserting Beno Udrih for Head would have left Gordon with 40. Moving DeMarcus Cousins into the starting five for Dalembert would have meant Cousins or Landry (who had some feisty back-and-forth with Griffin) would have been in early foul trouble. Putting Omri Casspi into the game between Evans and Greene probably wouldn't have helped force Evans to be more aggressive; the team's ubiquitous dependence on one-on-one play would have been re-emphasized. There are no answers until these players get better."
  • Hamed Haddadi has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend. That's not good.
  • Darren Rovell on LeBron's return to Cleveland: "They joked that when LeBron James returned, they'd make him play in an empty arena. In reality, former fans of the star who left them for Miami have paid top dollar to witness his return to Cleveland next week. It actually might be the most expensive regular season ticket in Cavaliers history. Fans are paying an average of $234 per seat on the secondary market for the Dec. 2 game, according to StubHub That's the highest average price for a non-playoff game for as far back as StubHub's data goes. The previous high was January 2010 when the Lakers came to play in Cleveland. The average price for that game was $202, StubHub's Joellen Ferrer said."
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com