Sacramento Kings star DeMarcus Cousins returned to the team's lineup Sunday after serving a one-game suspension for "conduct detrimental to the team," but Cousins said it wasn't the team that was behind his benching.
"That was no suspension from the organization. That was one from the head coach. There's a difference," Cousins said following Sunday's 108-99 home loss to Utah. "There's been so much extra stuff this season. Extra, unnecessary stuff. There are a lot of battles between guys that should be on your side. I would say that this [loss] is one of the most frustrating ones."
Cousins' suspension on Friday was discipline for directing a tirade at head coach George Karl during a timeout in Wednesday's home loss to Cleveland.
Karl, for his part, thinks he personally has handled things well with the franchise cornerstone, but acknowledged he and Cousins still have issues to work through.
"In general I think, professionally, I've done my job," Karl said before Sunday's game. "There will be an opportunity to talk with Cousins. We've exchanged pleasantries, but nothing in depth. I am not going to communicate how we evolve in this. The best thing for everybody, for Cousins, for me, the team, is to get a win."
The Kings (25-40) are mired in a five-game losing streak and have lost nine of their past 10 games. They next play Tuesday night on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers, beginning a stretch in which five of their next six games are on the road.