Sacramento Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins was suspended Thursday for one game by General Manager Vlade Divac for conduct detrimental to the team.
The former University of Kentucky star will not play in Friday night’s game against the visiting Orlando Magic. He will lose 1/82 of his 2015-16 salary of $14.73 million — approximately $179,620.
During a timeout in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s 120-111 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Sleep Train Arena, the center was seen screaming at Coach George Karl at the team’s bench.
“He went a little far, and we had to do things to be on the same page,” Divac said.
Assistant coach Corliss Williamson tried to intercede, along with Rudy Gay, but the sixth-year player kept yelling and pointing at Karl. It wasn’t until point guard Rajon Rondo stepped in between the coach and player when Cousins finally relented.
Cousins scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Kings’ seventh loss in the past eight games to fall to 25-38.
“I think DeMarcus is doing really well this year and playing really hard,” Divac said. “This was something where he was king of emotionally overwhelmed and did something he shouldn’t do. … There is nothing big deal about it. He’s a good kid. I hate doing this, but I’m (the) general manager that has to do sometimes hard stuff. I don’t blame him with the emotions he had, but it’s the wrong thing to do.”
Divac said he talked to Cousins about the suspension before Thursday’s practice.
“He wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t happy,” Divac said.
It is the second time Cousins has been suspended this season. In November, the league benched the center for one game after hitting Atlanta’s Al Horford in the head with his forearm. Cousins has been suspended numerous times by the NBA for various offenses, and several times by the Kings for detrimental conduct.
In November, Cousins went off on a profanity-laced tirade directed at Karl in the Kings’ locker room following a blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Cousins was not suspended at the time and cooler heads prevailed after a team meeting was called.