Kings

Evans helps Kings beat Hornets 96-80

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Evans helps Kings beat Hornets 96-80

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Tyreke Evans had 27 points and Marcus Thornton scored 25 for the Sacramento Kings in a 96-80 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night.Playing without DeMarcus Cousins, who demanded a trade prior to the game and was told by coach Paul Westphal to stay home, the Kings ended a three game skid. Cousins was among several players who expressed frustration with the team's poor play after a 114-92 loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday.Asked during halftime Sunday if Cousins would be traded, Kings vice president of basketball operations said he would talk to the brooding center on Monday."He has to grow up," Petrie said.

Trevor Ariza had 17 points for the Hornets, who have dropped two straight after opening the season with a pair of victories. Chris Kaman contributed 14 points and 15 rebounds, Emeka Okafor had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Carl Landry had 12 points.Evans shot 9 of 18 from the field, made 7-of-8 free throws and added four rebounds and three assists. John Salmons added 13 points for the Kings, who outscored the Hornets 58-40 in the second half.Evans provided a huge lift in the third quarter to help put the Kings ahead and also delivered in the fourth. With the shot clock running down, Evans made a 28-foot 3-pointer then followed with a dunk off a fast-break, putting Sacramento ahead 90-72 with 3:42 remaining.Hornets standout guard Eric Gordon missed his third straight game. Gordon bruised his knee in the season opener and is still listed as day to day while the Hornets try to be cautious with him.Struggling on offense in the opening half when they shot 30 percent, the Kings got going in the third quarter behind Evans. The Kings point guard was penetrating inside for baskets and also made several perimeter shots in scoring 13 points.Evans received plenty of help from Salmons, who made a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points as the Kings outscored New Orleans 30-18 to assume a 68-58 lead heading into the fourth.NOTES: Kings veteran Francisco Garcia made his first appearance of the season, starting the second quarter. He also opened the fourth quarter and hit a pair of 3-pointers to extend the Kings lead. Ariza scored 10 points to help the Hornets take a 40-38 lead into halftime. Thornton scored 11 points for the Kings. Thornton was acquired by the Kings from New Orleans last year in February for forward Carl Landry. The Hornets outrebounded the Kings 60-41.

DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'

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AP

DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'

Some professional athletes take a stand by kneeling on the sidelines or raising a fist into the air. Some write succinct tweets expressing their dismay with the current political climate in the United States of America. Others just get right to the point with a poignant off the cuff statement to a waiting camera.

Former Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins has certainly mastered the art of the cryptic tweet, but he’s also never been one to shy away from a direct question when asked. When an inquiry was thrown his direction about confederate statues in New Orleans and his home state of Alabama, Cousins was brief with his words, but very clear.

"Take all them mother****ers down," Cousins told TMZ while navigating a security line at the airport. "Take 'em all down.”

Cousins may not have chosen the most eloquent words, but his point of view is shared by plenty of others. He isn’t the first athlete to take a stand with regards to race in America over the last week as racial tensions have spilled out into the streets in Charlottesville, Virginia. Social media is filled with professional athletes adding their thoughts to the conversation.

The Warriors’ Kevin Durant has made it clear that he will not visit the White House and President Donald Trump, a visit most teams make following an NBA championship.

"Nah, I won't do that," the 8-time All-Star told ESPN on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now.”

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” Durant continued. “That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

Garrett Temple has used Twitter to make his thoughts known as well. Recently named the Kings’ Players Voice Teammate of the Year by the National Basketball Players Association, Temple has used his position as an NBA player to speak out multiple times.

Over the last week, he’s fielded questions and had plenty of discussions through social media on the issues of race and equality. His Twitter timeline is littered with thoughtful replies and some not so thoughtful ideas as well. Plenty of fans thanking him for using his position to further the conversation and of course, there is the occasional, “stick to sports” comment.

Agree or disagree, today’s athletes have huge platforms to share their opinions. From Cousins to Temple, there are varying degrees of engagement, but the time of players staying out of the discussion is long gone.

The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act

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AP

The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act

Gavin and Joe Maloof have gambled plenty in their lives, which is in part how they ended up losing the Sacramento Kings. They ran big, they hit a dry well, and they ended up selling the works.

So their decision to bet $880,000 on Floyd Mayweather in his “thing” with Conor McGregor for a $160,000 payout seemed the perfectly daft idea for two guys who were painted as perfectly daft when they were running the Kings and their other businesses into a freeway abutment on I-80.

In fairness, they are planning to donate their winnings to a number of charities in the name of their hangover drink (Never Too Hungover, although I might have gone with the more lyrical HurlNoMore), so it’s not like their hearts aren’t a place close to the mythical “right place.”

But it does beg the question, “Why don’t they just give $160,000 and skip the scam?” Because it wasn’t about charity, it was about promotion, and while there’s nothing wrong with promotion, attaching it to one of the seediest carnival events of the modern era makes it seem, well, kind of creepy.

Or maybe “creepy” is too strong. Maybe’s it’s just opportunism, which is more, well, Vegas-y.

Kings fans will remember the Maloofs as the family that saved the foundering team from the clutches of owner Jim Thomas, and then remember them as the family whose clutches Vivek Ranadive had to save the team from 15 years later. It’s the nature of most ownerships – you do good to eliminate a prior evil, and eventually become evil yourselves when the fans turn on you.

But the Maloofs aren’t evil – even their most strident critics will say that. They just saw an opportunity to scratch a bunch of itches at once – good-heartedness, advertising, gambling and Vegas’ most important product – selling you things you could never imagine wanting.

It almost makes you wonder if they harbor a secret itch to take the $160,000 and double down on behalf of the charities for another of their pet projects – the Vegas Golden Knights. If they put it on the Knights to win the Stanley Cup at 200-1, that’s $32,000,000. Then if they took that and . . .

. . . and before you know it, they’re trapped in the fantasyland of Las Vegas at its weirdest. Maybe it’s just performance art with more money than most of us can eat.