All-Star power forward DeMarcus Cousins formally weighed in on the Sacramento Kings' coaching situation before their game in Chicago on Tuesday night, insisting in an interview with ESPN.com's Marc Stein that he has had no input for or against the man expected to take over next week as his new coach: George Karl.
"I don't fire coaches or hire them. Everyone knows I liked and respected Coach [Michael] Malone. I didn't want [Malone's firing in December] to happen," Cousins told ESPN.
"I'm not involved in any coaching decisions right now. I've heard that George Karl is a great coach. If that is the direction that the organization chooses, I'll support it. Out of respect for Coach [Tyrone] Corbin, I hadn't planned on making any comments about what is rumored out there. But at this point I felt some things needed to be clarified."
He clarified his stance on the team's coaching situation even further after Tuesday night's 104-86 loss to the Bulls when he said "All of [us] got thrown into this. To the best of our ability, we try to get it done. Work with what we have and try to leave the least amount of excuses possible."
Although the Kings have yet to formally announce a done deal with Karl, sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the organization is already operating under the premise that Karl will take over the team after the All-Star break.
Team sources say that, since it emerged Saturday in a Sacramento Bee report that the Kings were in talks with Karl about replacing Corbin, Cousins has met with Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro only once and has not met with Kings owner Vivek Ranadive about the prospect of Sacramento hiring its third coach of the season.
Amid various weekend reports suggesting that Cousins or his representatives had been voicing opposition to the Kings' courting of Karl, Cousins launched into a cryptic rant at his locker Sunday night after hitting a buzzer-beating jumper at home to topple the Phoenix Suns.
"I ain't pumped up. I've just got a lot on my mind," he told local reporters. "The crazy thing about it is, I've just got a question for y'all: How you gonna stop God's plan? How you gonna do that? How you gonna do that? That's all I want to know. How you gonna stop God's plan?
"Man, this city done put me through so much, and I stayed loyal to it the whole time. Hey, I just wanna know, how you gonna stop God's plan? God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. The marathon continues. I'm out."
Karl has a connection with one of Cousins' agents. Jarinn Akana worked with Karl in Denver and was shifted from an assistant coach to a team scout when Karl took the Nuggets job in 2005.
The Kings initially pledged, in the wake of Malone's dismissal, to let Corbin coach the team for the rest of the season so they could launch a more comprehensive search in April. But in December, ESPN.com reported that Ranadive tried to convince Kings adviser Chris Mullin to take the job despite his lack of prior coaching experience, with Ranadive believed to be enamored with the Steve Kerr model in Golden State after his time as a Warriors minority owner. The Kings then began pursuing Karl this month after losing 19 of their first 25 games under Corbin.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein and The Associated Press contributed to this report.