The Sacramento Kings will continue to investigate a Saturday night altercation between prized rookie DeMarcus Cousins and third-year forward Donte Greene on Monday. After the pair reportedly exchanged blows in the Kings' locker room after a close loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, Kings management yanked Cousins off of the team plane and told him to stay in Sacramento as the Kings traveled to Phoenix for a Sunday game against the Suns. The Kings won that game, with Greene scoring 19 points off the bench.
But the Kings were sure to avoid calling Cousins' grounding a suspension. The Kings' official release danced around the issue, possibly to avoid the NBA Players Association from getting involved. Here's the Kings' release from Sunday in its entirety:
Sacramento Kings rookie forward/center DeMarcus Cousins will not play in tonight's game at Phoenix while the organization reviews the situation that occurred in the locker room following last night's game versus Oklahoma City.
Kings coach Paul Westphal revealed a bit more when explaining to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee as to why Cousins was grounded while Greene traveled with the team and played on Sunday.
"First of all nobody has said there's a conclusion to this. I'm not commenting at all on what happened after the game. Obviously something happened. Obviously this is not DeMarcus' first time with any kind of incident and there are no prior incidents with Donte. So in our preliminary dealings with this situation we felt that it was appropriate to handle it the way we have."
Cousins has arguably been the Kings' best player this season, while Greene goes in and out of the rotation depending on the position of Mars relative to the moon. But, as Westphal alludes to, this is not the team's first issue with Cousins' maturity. He was benched for making a choke sign at the Warriors' Reggie Williams toward the end of a close game in December, and has previously been fined for yelling at a trainer and kicked out of practice for arguing with Westphal.