Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was fined $25,000 by the NBA and retroactively assessed a technical foul for throwing his mouthpiece and entering the stands Saturday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, league vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe announced Monday.
Cousins fouled out after being called for a blocking foul on Kris Dunn with 37.2 seconds to play in the Kings’ 106-103 win. The two-time All-Star quickly rose to his feet and charged toward the seats behind the basket at Golden 1 Center and ran up the stairs. In frustration, he threw his mouthpiece on the stairs, retrieved it and left the game.
Had the technical been assessed Saturday, Minnesota would have attempted one more free throw. Dunn missed both free throws with the Timberwolves trailing 105-101.
In the second quarter, Cousins drew a technical, his first this season, for objecting to a foul call. But instead of getting angry, he smiled at referee Tony Brothers and gave a thumbs-up.
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Last season, Cousins finished with 17 technicals, tying his career high. Now in his seventh season, he has 92 technicals.
No extension, no problem – Monday was the last day for players drafted in the first round in 2013 to agree to extensions on their rookie contracts.
Eight players from that class agreed to deals by the deadline. Not surprisingly, Kings guard Ben McLemore was not among them.
“I really haven’t been focused on that, to be honest,” he said. “I let my circle and (agent) Rich Paul continue to handle that. He tells me to handle my end, and that’s here with the Kings, my teammates and going out and performing and do whatever I’ve got to do to help my team win.”
Last season, his third, McLemore’s production dipped while playing for his third head coach. New coach Dave Joerger and his staff have been high on McLemore, who was available in a trade for much of the last year.
The Kings have cooled on dealing McLemore, turning down a chance to send him to the Milwaukee Bucks for guard Michael Carter-Williams, the 2014 Rookie of the Year. The Bucks traded him to the Chicago Bulls last month.
Sacramento plans to give McLemore a qualifying offer worth about $5.4 million, making him a restricted free agent after the season.
Road adjustments – Joerger did not have a shootaround before Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
After Sunday’s flight, Joerger passed on using the morning for more teaching.
“We have a great training staff, but I think the No. 1 therapy you can give your guys is sleep,” he said.
It’s a different approach for Joerger, who said in nine seasons as an assistant and head coach with the Memphis Grizzlies, the team’s longest trip lasted five games. This season, the Kings have one seven-game trip, one six-game trip and one five-game trip, which began Monday.
Joerger said getting players to a shootaround would have meant having them on a bus at 7 a.m. Pacific time.
“I haven’t seen any of these dudes at 7:15, 7:30 back home,” Joerger said. “So you can kind of get eased into the time change is how we like to do it. We’ll see how it works.”