Kings reinstate ex-Cat Cousins

Center might not play right away

The Sacramento BeeDecember 26, 2012 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Kings announced Monday that center DeMarcus Cousins has been reinstated after being suspended "indefinitely" Saturday for "unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team," a banishment that lasted one game for their leading scorer, rebounder and drama maker.

Cousins, a former Kentucky standout, was reinstated Monday morning. The Kings had suspended Cousins on Saturday after he met with basketball president Geoff Petrie and Coach Keith Smart following an argument the center had with Smart during a road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

Cousins was apparently so profane and personal in his verbal confrontation with Smart in front of teammates during halftime that Smart benched Cousins and left him in the locker room for the second half of the defeat at Staples Center.

"He's been reinstated, yes," Smart said after Monday's practice. "That doesn't mean he's playing right away, but he's back around the team and came back (Monday), apologized to the team and to me as well, and we'll just move forward."

It wasn't clear who was responsibility for the reinstatement or how much of a role Cousins' new agent, Dan Fegan, may have had in getting the length of "indefinite" defined to one game.

Smart said "indefinite" didn't necessarily mean a long suspension. "That could be an hour," Smart said. "That could be 30 days."

What does seem clear from off-the-record comments is that Cousins' verbal outbursts are wearing on the Kings. This was his third suspension. When Cousins does play again, teammates say he'll be welcomed on the court.

"He's our teammate. He's our brother," guard Marcus Thornton said. "He apologized; he was on the wrong end of things. Hopefully, we can get him back playing like DeMarcus plays."

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