DeMarcus Cousins

Keith Smart is one of DeMarcus Cousins’ biggest supporters.

Apparently that doesn’t mean Smart will allow Cousins to speak to him however he likes. And that’s why DeMarcus was left in the locker room for the second half of Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Cousins went at his coach verbally after Smart said something to him at halftime. So Smart decided the Kings were better off without their leading scorer and rebounder.

“We’re trying to set a standard for all of our players and all our guys who are here,” Smart said after the game. “When guys don’t fall in line to that we’ve got to move on.”

Smart intends to maintain this stance, too. You have to assume that means penalties will escalate if the behavior does not change.

Smart wouldn’t address whether Cousins would play in Sunday’s game against Portland. If he does, another blowup could mean suspensions for conduct detrimental to the team.

– Reported by Jason Jones of theĀ Sacramento Bee (Blog)