Archive for January 1st, 2012

STATEMENT FROM KINGS HEAD COACH PAUL WESTPHAL

DeMarcus Cousins

“Whenever a new season begins, in any sport, there is great hope that everything will progress in only a steady, upward direction. As we all know, it seldom happens like that in this life!

As coaches, we can only ask that our players do everything they can to improve themselves as individuals and teammates. If they do this with all their hearts, we live with the results.

Everything that happens on a team does not become known to the public. This is how it should be. However, when a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely.

DeMarcus Cousins has demanded to be traded. In the best interest of our team as we go forward, he has been directed by me, with the support of management, to stay home from the New Orleans game tonight.”

The Washington Wizards announced today that they have assigned center Hamady Ndiaye to the Iowa Energy, the team’s affiliate in the NBA Development League.

Ndiaye has not appeared in a game for the Wizards this season.  He appeared in 16 games with the team in 2010-11 and spent 11 games with the Dakota Wizards (the team’s NBADL affiliate at the time), averaging 4.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 18.4 minutes per game.  The 7-0 native of Senegal was originally selected by Minnesota with the 56th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft before his rights were traded along with the rights to Trevor Booker in exchange for the rights to Lazar Hayward and Nemanja Bjelica on Draft Night 2010.  He was re-signed by the Wizards on Dec. 11, 2011.

The Kings, who began the season amid good vibes, an improved roster and reasonable expectations, are immersed in a massive funk. They didn’t need any champagne Saturday night to wake up this morning with a splitting headache. Barring an emotional turnaround before tonight’s 6 p.m. game against New Orleans, the Hornets will catch the Kings still hung over, still searching for answers and still openly questioning the club’s direction.

Respected veteran Chuck Hayes sat with his head in his hands, visibly disturbed by a lack of cohesiveness. DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, two critical elements of this ongoing rebuilding process, leaned back in their seats, quietly commiserating before sharing their thoughts.

“What offense?” Cousins replied when asked about the Kings’ most obvious weakness. “I really don’t want to say anything.”

He shrugged. He shook his head. He exhaled. He ducked under a towel. His body said plenty.

– By Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee

Basketball blog