The Sacramento Kings finally elected to move on from DeMarcus Cousins this week, completing one of the worst deals in NBA history by trading him to the Pelicans. The separation was probably best for both sides, for a variety of reasons. But the way the Kings front office handled the whole situation left a sour taste in Cousins’ mouth.
After the Pelicans lost by 30 to the Rockets in Cousins’ Thursday night debut, he spoke with ESPN’s The Undefeated and explained why the way things went down in Sacramento hurt so much.
When did the Kings tell you that you wouldn’t be traded?
“A week before the trade. The sick part about it is that (GM) Vlade (Divac) came in my house with my agent [Jarinn Akana]. 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. 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.”
Is there any part of you that wants to talk to (Vivek) Ranadive or Divac?
“Nah. For what? It was a coward move, so I’m pretty sure I will get a coward response. 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]. I’ve seen how they operate. I know what kind of answer I will get anyway. So, what is the point?”
None of this is good for the Sacramento front office, and you can believe that other players around the league — and their agents — have noticed the way the Kings treated an All-Star talent who was the face of the franchise for more than six tumultuous seasons.