SACRAMENTO -- What appeared to be a typically mundane night was turned on its head Tuesday night in Sacramento. As the Kings were struggling through another tough home game, the mood was somber in Golden 1 Center.
The angle wrote itself: “The sky is falling: Kings drop fourth straight as doom and gloom consumes Sacramento.”
And then the weather changed with an 18-point lead erased, a possible contract extension for the team’s franchise player, a win, and a very curious postgame interview.
In case you missed the news, Cousins is in line for a massive contract extension this summer and it appears that he and the Kings front office are on the same page. There is still work to be done, but Cousins is ready to sign on the dotted line for a $207 million contract that will keep him in Sacramento for the next six seasons.
“This is where I want to be. Hell yeah, I’m good with it,” Cousins told CSNCalifornia.com when asked about the potential deal.
The All-Star center was in a very good mood. His 3-pointer with 56 seconds remaining gave the Kings a four-point lead and helped seal a big win over the Pistons. His 24-point, 13-rebound, six-assist night snapped a three-game skid as the Kings kept pace in the race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff.
In great spirits, Cousins followed an impulse and took the night to a new level. As the talk centered around his long-term future in Sacramento, Cousins snatched a microphone from CSN’s Kayte Christensen and turned the tables with a few choice questions of his own.
The beef between Cousins and local newspaper reporters spilled over into print in December, so he took the opportunity to needle his naysayers.
“I love Sacramento, it’s where I want to be," Cousins said before asking his first question. "You want me to be here?” he directed at one reporter.
“Always have,” the reporter responded twice.
Cousins then shifted to another reporter who had engaged in a verbal altercation with Cousins following a game earlier this season.
“Would you like me to remain here?” Cousins said with a smile.
The reporter took the opportunity to make his case against Cousins remaining in Sacramento.
“It’s not my call, but I would say, for me, I would say no,” the reporter responded.
Cousins handed the microphone back to Christensen and with a huge smile and a bit of a chuckle.
“Okay, okay," he said. "Well, guess what? Guess what people? I’m here!”
It wasn’t mean spirited. If anything, it provided some much needed levity to a potentially uncomfortable situation.
All in all, it was a good night for the star big man as his team came away with a huge victory to stem the tide. Top form will again be reqired Friday night when the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Golden 1 Center.