It took just 12 days for Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac to break the promise he made to DeMarcus Cousins and the city of Sacramento. Divac had a “face-to-face meeting” with Cousins earlier this month, promising him he would not be traded, and then he spoke with ESPN’s Marc Stein to do the same: “We’re not trading DeMarcus. We hope he’s here for a long time.”
Instead, there was Divac, working the phones on Sunday night during the NBA All-Star Game — the one in which Cousins represented the Kings — finalizing a deal that made his statements to both Cousins and ESPN a lie. Cousins seemingly found out about the trade during the media scrum following the game, after noting that the scrum around him was larger than usual and something must have happened.
The following day, while the NBA was still reeling from the entire incident, Cousins bid the city a tearful goodbye and pledged to continue doing the great work in the community that he’d been lauded for over the past few years.
The entire incident was peak Kings, a team that has for nearly a decade – through two ownership groups and countless head coaches and general managers and two arenas – been the worst organization in all of sports. What followed was a day of madness, where Divac stepped in front of a gaggle of reporters and admitted that he’d had better deals for Cousins but foolishly turned them down. Then he seemed to burn the remaining remnants of whatever bridge was left between Cousins and the organization by saying the Kings were looking for culture and character and wanted to build through the draft.