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#pounditTuesday, May 28, 2024

George Karl ‘very confident’ he’ll make it work with DeMarcus Cousins


The trade buzz surrounding DeMarcus Cousins seems to have run its course, and the Sacramento Kings star is now stuck in an incredibly awkward situation with a head coach who clearly wanted nothing to do with him as of two weeks ago. Now that it appears the Kings have their team in place, Karl is trying to do damage control.

On Monday, Karl and Cousins shared an awkward handshake during Sacramento’s Summer League game. Karl later told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports that he is trying to move forward.

“I just said hello to him this afternoon,” the veteran coach said. “I don’t think it’s something we have to rush through. You got two guys that are very frustrated with losing, two guys that are somewhat stubborn and two guys that love to compete.

“Sometimes, that doesn’t work the first time you hang around. But you have to take your time to make it work. I’m very confident to make it work.”

Cousins, who didn’t look like he wanted to chat with Karl when they shook hands, only told Yahoo Sports that he was “straight” when asked about Karl on Sunday.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive never had any intention of trading Cousins, and there was some indication that he almost fired Karl over shopping the 24-year-old center. Sacramento has not made the playoffs since 2006, but it now has an exciting core in place with Cousins, Rudy Gay and the addition of Rajon Rondo. The Kings also drafted Willie Cauley-Stein with the sixth overall pick.

“Ownership jumped up and made a play that probably cost them some money,” Karl said. “And then Vlade jumped up and got a lot of the guys that we wanted. And now as coaches we have to jump up and do our job.

“Our job is to make it work. Our job is to make it fit.”

If you want to know what the current relationship is like between Karl and Cousins, just ask Vlade Divac. And if you don’t believe him, this tweet from Cousins should give you some clarity. The two still have a long way to go.


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