Sidelines with John Clay

Mike Krzyzewski defends DeMarcus Cousins on Calipari podcast

The United States’ DeMarcus Cousins,12, and Lithuania's Darjus Lavrinovic, 7, jump for the rebound during their Basketball 2014 World Cup semifinal match at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain.
The United States’ DeMarcus Cousins,12, and Lithuania's Darjus Lavrinovic, 7, jump for the rebound during their Basketball 2014 World Cup semifinal match at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain. Associated Press

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski went on John Calipari’s podcast and defended former Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins, who is in a spat with the Sacramento media.

Krzyzewski appeared on Cal Cast, which is to be released on Tuesday but was made available to ESPN on Monday. The interview was taped last Thursday.

Coach K said he enjoyed coaching several of Calipari’s former Kentucky players while with Team USA. That included Cousins, now the star center for the Kings. Krzyzewski said Cousins “gets a bad rap sometimes.”

Cousins has played on several national teams, including the one that won the gold medal in Rio this year.

“For him to come back and still want it, it said a lot about how much he wanted to do it,” Krzyzewski told Calipari. “He came through for us big time. He’s tough as hell. He is so damn talented. I don’t think he has a position. You can’t call him a 5 or a 4. Just call him a great player.”

Cousins earned headlines over the weekend for his profanity-laced tirade at a Sacramento Bee columnist. Cousins objected to Andy Furillo using his brother’s name when writing about an alleged incident at a nightclub that involved the brothers.

Executive editor Joyce Terhaar wrote a column defending Furillo and criticizing Cousins. Kings Coach Dave Joerger then criticized the paper for its treatement of Cousins and the Kings.

Here’s the link for the Calipari podcasts on iTunes.

NBA scoring leaders

Rnk

Player

Team

PPG

1

Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City

30.4

2

Anthony Davis

New Orleans

29.6

3

DeMar DeRozan

Toronto

28.4

4

DeMarcus Cousins

Sacramento

28.3

5

James Harden

Houston

27.7

6

Damian Lillard

Portland

27.4

7

Isaiah Thomas

Boston

25.9

8

Kevin Durant

Golden St

25.8

9

LeBron James

Cleveland

25.0

10

Jimmy Butler

Chicago

24.8

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