Jan 18, 2012, 1:33 PM EST
In just his second season in the league, DeMarcus Cousins has a reputation in some quarters as hard to deal with and a coach killer. Fair or not, it’s out there.
Paul Westphal is out and Keith Smart — who went from a nearly impossible situation in Golden State (due to an ownership change) to a nearly impossible one in Sacramento — is in. Right at the top of the list of job priorities is for Smart to gain the respect of Cousins, the talented big man who could anchor that franchise for years.
So far, so good. At least that’s what you take away from Cousin’s comments to the USA Today.
“Everything has been positive right now. Coach isn’t scared to speak his mind. He’s going to tell the truth. He’s going to tell you how it should be and how it’s not going to be. He sets his guidelines and we all go by them. That’s something that we needed from the beginning. Coach is going to be real. If you mess up he’s going to tell you, ‘You messed up.’ That’s all we needed from the beginning.”
So you didn’t have that structure under Westphal?
“We didn’t, honestly. And it showed.”
You’re starting to see some more motion and other changes to the Kings offense, even if that has not been reflected in the win column. This is a team with a long way to go. But at least the attitude seems better in the locker room. That’s a good beginning.
- PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant is back, doesn’t have much time to get it right 2
- It’s official, Clippers agree to terms with Stephen Jackson 1
- PBT NBA Power Rankings: At the quarter pole Portland takes the lead 16
- Paul Pierce practiced Monday, could return vs. Celtics Tuesday 2
- Report: Kings not done trading, Jason Thompson next on block 4
- LeBron says Wade is “getting that Kobe deal” in next contract. Should he? (65)
- Dwight Howard frustrated with Rockets’ effort in recent losses (52)
- Kobe Bryant dunks, looks good in Lakers practice; Friday return possible (47)
- The Extra Pass: Our awards at the quarter pole, plus Monday recaps (43)
- Durant tells “60 Minutes Sports” he’s still tired of being No. 2 (35)