After the Kings said they would levy a “substantial” fine against DeMarcus Cousins for his behavior toward reporters, the All-Star center released a statement Tuesday saying his “actions were inexcusable” and apologized to the team and fans.
“There is a time, place and manner to say everything, and I chose the wrong one,” Cousins said in a statement distributed by the team. “Like most people, I am fiercely protective of my friends and family, and I let my emotions get the best of me in this situation. I understand my actions were inexcusable and I commit to upholding the professional standards of the Kings and the NBA. I apologize to my teammates, fans and the Kings organization for my behavior and the ensuing distraction and look forward to moving on and focusing on basketball.”
A source who is knowledgeable about the fine but not authorized to speak publicly told The Sacramento Bee it was $50,000.
In a statement issued earlier Tuesday, the team said it will consider additional penalties against Cousins if he has more incidents with the media.
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“The Kings have a clear set of standards of conduct expected of our entire organization. As a result of negative interactions with certain members of the media that were not corrected after verbal warnings, we have decided to impose a substantial fine. If this behavior is repeated again we will be forced to consider further discipline.”
Cousins was not suspended and was expected to start Tuesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers at Golden 1 Center.
The fine followed Cousins’ latest incident with local media.
After the Kings’ 116-92 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 12, Cousins went on a profanity-laced tirade against Bee columnist Andy Furillo in the locker room while pointing a finger in Furillo’s face. Furillo wrote a column about Cousins’ involvement in an alleged assault by teammate Matt Barnes at a New York City nightclub earlier this month. Both players were named in a civil suit filed in federal court by two people who allege the two Kings assaulted them.
Cousins took exception to the column mentioning an incident in May in which his younger brother, Jaleel, an NBA Development League player, was arrested at a Tampa, Fla., nightclub.
The Bee released a video of the locker room outburst on Friday.
Cousins has been fined by the team before. His previous fine levied by the Kings came early last season, when Cousins vented at former coach George Karl in the locker room at Sleep Train Arena following a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Cousins also has been fined numerous times by the NBA. The latest cost the two-time All-Star $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece and entering the stands at Golden 1 Center against the Minnesota Timberwolves in October.