With pending long-term extension, Cousins needles local media

With pending long-term extension, Cousins needles local media

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 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.

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


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


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.