DeMarcus Cousins issued a statement Tuesday apologizing for how his outburst at a Sacramento Bee columnist had become a distraction to the Kings.
The team fined Cousins $50,000, partly because this was not his first run-in with a media member this season.
“There is a time, place and manner to say everything, and I chose the wrong ones,” Cousins said in a statement issued before the Kings played the Portland Trail Blazers at Golden 1 Center. “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.”
The video shows Cousins standing over columnist Andy Furillo, yelling and pointing his finger at him after a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 12.
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On Friday, The Bee released a video of Cousins’ profanity-laced tirade. Cousins was upset that Furillo mentioned an incident involving his brother, Jaleel, who was arrested at a Tampa, Fla., nightclub in May.
“I understand my actions were inexcusable and I commit to upholding the professional standards of the Kings and the NBA,” Cousins said. “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.”
On Sunday, coach Dave Joerger expressed his displeasure with The Bee’s coverage of the encounter. Joerger added he was unhappy that The Bee published the names of his family in a story about the purchase of their new home this summer.
Joerger said the Kings were putting the situation with Cousins behind them and added there was nothing more to discuss.
“I don’t think it was an issue to begin with,” Joerger said. “We’re done with it. The more we talk about it, the bigger it exasperates itself.”
Joerger took one more question about the situation before ending his pregame media session because there were no more questions about Tuesday’s game.
Cousins has been disciplined for his treatment of the media before, but the penalty was less severe this time.
Unlike Cousins’ dispute with San Antonio Spurs TV analyst Sean Elliott four years ago, he was not suspended for confronting Furillo. The suspension in the Elliott situation came from the NBA, which deemed Cousins acted “in a hostile manner.”
The Kings investigated the situation with Furillo and took into account Cousins had issues with other media members at least twice this season before determining the fine.
“The Kings have a clear set of standards of conduct expected of our entire organization,” the team said in a statement. “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.”
Reassigned – The Kings sent two rookies, forward-center Skal Labissiere and center George Papagiannis, back to their NBA Development League team, the Reno Bighorns.
Rookie guard Malachi Richardson, however, stayed with the Kings. For most of their time in the D-League, all three rookies have been in Reno together. Richardson was on the active roster for Tuesday’s game.
New lineup – With Rudy Gay (strained right hip flexor) missing his fourth consecutive game, Joerger switched his starting lineup again.
Matt Barnes started at small forward with Cousins at power forward and Kosta Koufos at center.
Guard Garrett Temple returned to the bench, and the starting guards were Ben McLemore and Darren Collison.