Kings notes: Cousins avoids suspension this time

Published: Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 9C
Last Modified: Monday, Sep. 23, 2013 - 8:09 am

DeMarcus Cousins was nervous Thursday night.

After picking up a flagrant foul 2 and ejection for landing a forearm to Dallas guard Vince Carter's face, Cousins was certain he'd be suspended for Saturday's game against the Miami Heat at Sleep Train Arena.

Cousins, however, was in the starting lineup Saturday night.

"I talked to the league office (Friday), and they said they wouldn't move any farther with it," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "What they say is what they saw, and it wasn't anything that would warrant any more action to it."

Cousins has been suspended twice by the league this season. The first suspension was for a postgame confrontation with San Antonio television analyst Sean Elliott. The second came last month, when he hit Dallas guard O.J. Mayo in the groin.

Cousins maintained the Mayo incident was accidental. Even though Cousins said hitting Carter also was accidental, he wasn't sure how the league would respond.

"One thing that was said is DeMarcus plays like a big man," Smart said. "He plays a physical style, and hands and arms go everywhere with him.

"Unfortunately, it hit Vince where it did, but automatically when it hits the head, that's going to be pretty close to flagrant 2."

Smart said Cousins "really felt bad about the whole situation" because he wouldn't try to hit a player in that manner.

The coach added that what pleased him most was how Cousins dealt with the situation. The Kings have been looking for maturity from their third-year center, and there are signs Cousins is making progress.

"I think that's been great, watching him do that in this short period of time," Smart said.

Government seat – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson attended Saturday's game. He sat courtside, across from the Heat bench.

Johnson has been vocal in his quest to keep the Kings in Sacramento amid talk the Maloof family might sell the team to an ownership group that would move the team to Seattle.

Johnson wants to line up investors who would keep the Kings in Sacramento to bid on the team if it is sold.

Sick leave – Guard Aaron Brooks sat out Saturday's game with the flu. It was the second game he has missed this season. Brooks' absence allowed second-year forward Tyler Honeycutt to be active for the game. He scored four points in four minutes.

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