George Karl apologized twice for DeMarcus Cousins trade talk

With a whirlwind offseason behind them, DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings are ready to get back on the court.
Anne-Marie Sorvin/Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

It wasn’t that long ago that the future of the Sacramento Kings seemed in doubt. Center DeMarcus Cousins was reportedly available via trade, and coach George Karl was telling the media that no player is untradeable.

Those days seem long behind the Kings now, as Cousins told reporters last week that things are "solid" between him and Karl, as the head coach twice told reporters that he made a mistake in the way he handled the trade rumors — and that he’ll probably screw up again in the future.

At Kings media day on Monday, Karl told CSN’s Kayte Christensen that he shouldn’t have said that every player can be traded:

And on Friday, Karl told Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee that his apology to Cousins kind of took the big man by surprise:

“What I said, I should not have said,” Karl reiterated Friday. “But we all make mistakes. I make mistakes with game-planning, make mistakes coaching. DeMarcus makes mistakes. I think he was a little surprised (laugh) to hear me say that I make mistakes and that I’m going to ‘bleep up’ again.

To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”

Karl’s original statement, in which he said he’d coached some great players but that you always have to be ready "for the possibility of a great trade that could come your way," might not have caused much of a stir on its own. It’s good business sense in the NBA, after all. But amid all of the trade rumors that were swirling in Sacramento, it appeared to many as a message that Karl preferred sending Cousins elsewhere.

Now, however, the only thing that matters is how things go on the court. The Kings play their first preseason game of 2015 on Monday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.

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