Cousins suspended two games for confronting Sean Elliott, Spurs broadcaster

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DeMarcus Cousins was suspended for two games by the NBA for confronting Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott two nights ago in Sacramento, postponing the first meeting between the two best centers in the Western Conference.

Jason Thompson started at center for the Kings as they faced the Lakers, who continued to woo Phil Jackson but were covering their bases by interviewing other candidates, including Mike D’Antoni and Mike Dunleavy, to replace the fired Mike Brown.

So what exactly happened between Cousins and Elliott?

From Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News: “After overpowering Duncan for two baskets and drawing a shooting foul on the Spurs star with about five minutes left, Cousins bellowed to his teammates on the Kings’ bench after drawing a shooting foul on the future Hall of Famer. Elliott paraphrased Cousins as saying, “I’m going to bust his (expletive).” Elliott responded after Duncan blocked a Cousins shot at the rim and scored three baskets. “That’s why some humility is in order,” Elliott said on the air. “You think you’re dominating Tim Duncan, you get it stuffed right back in your face. Timmy doesn’t like to talk trash. But if guys start talking mess to him, he’s going to respond. All that trash talking was premature. I’m not about to let these guys off the hook. Young ballclub should learn from this. Don’t start talking and flapping your gums against one of the greatest players ever. He’s going to make you pay. Tell me who got the best of this exchange.” Apparently informed postgame of Elliott’s remarks, Cousins appeared on the court in his uniform and confronted Elliott after he and broadcaster Bill Land completed their postgame show. “I was wondering why Cousins was out there in his uniform waiting for them to finish his postgame show,” said Bill Schoening, who does the play-by-play call on radio broadcasts of Spurs games. “Then I saw them in an animated conversation out on the court. “I observed Sean walk away from Cousins and Cousins continue to talk to Sean as he left the scene, but I couldn’t hear what was being said.”

 

Tweet of the Day: Jonathan Feigen

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I expect the folks at NBA Communications are going to raise a little fuss with the Rockets. The league actually has media access rules, and although they are openly flaunted by a majority of the 30 teams, a crackdown can happen if it gets out of control.

Harden isn’t doing himself any favors by blowing off Feigen and his Houston media colleagues. These guys have jobs to do, they have questions that need to be asked (“Hey James, did you year you dropped from No. 1 to off the chart in the SheridanHoops Top 10 MVP candidates ranking?“).

Same thing with Asik.

Not doing himself any favors.

If Asik doesn’t give folks some new material, we have no choice but to tell stories about Asik, like the time at the 2010 World Championship semifinal when he pulled off the biggest flop in FIBA history (he got hit on the chin on a fast break when Serbia fouled him, he rolled around on the floor for a full 5 minutes holding his belly and writhing in fake pain, and he refused to get up until he was assured that he would be removed from the game so a better free throw shooter could replace him and take the two shots). Video after the jump.

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Sheridan Hoops MVP Rankings After Week Two

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Special mention atop this column is deserved for Andre Iguodala, Nicolas Batum and Tony (SLJW) Allen, three of the league’s best man-on-man defenders who all had a chance to guard James Harden over the past week.

Not that Harden is a marked man or anything, but after going for 37 and 45 in his first two games — and earning the No. 1 ranking in last week’s edition of these rankings — the guy should strike a personal endorsement deal with Target.

To review, Harden shot 8-for-24 against Portland (loss), 5-for-15 against Denver (loss) and 4-for-18 against Allen and the Grizzlies (loss).

“I knew he was capable of getting that 30-something number,” said Allen, whose “SLJW” nickname up above is my creation, not his, although he is welcome to appropriate it. (The letters stand for Samuel L. Jackson’s Wallet. If you’ve seen “Pulp Fiction”, you’ll get it.) “He’s been coming out there with a vengeance. I just wanted to go out there and compete and not be one of those guys getting hit up for 30. I just took it as a challenge.”

Harden’s week was not a complete loss as he went for 20 points (but shot 6-for-14) in a win Saturday night over the Pistons. But it was the Pistons, ya know?

And Harden’s 3-point percentage is down to 22 percent. So he ties David H. Petraeus for biggest fall of the week.

That means we have a new man at the top this week, and he is no flash in the pan.

He is a guy who lost his Car (explanation after the jump).

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Bucher says Phil Jackson wants Jim Buss out as de facto GM

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There is a lot of speculation and conjecture out there today regarding Phil Jackson’s possible return to the Los Angeles Lakers, but one piece of information has a lot more meat on the bone than others.

It comes from Ric Bucher, formerly of ESPN and now writing hoops for CSNBayArea.com, and it says one of Jackson’s desires is to have final say on personnel decisions — which would render both Jim Bus and Mitch Kupchak relatively powerless.

An excerpt from Bucher’s report: “One source described the possibility of Jackson returning, should a suitable offer be made, as “strong.” The Lakers are in need of a new head coach after firing Mike Brown Friday morning, the timing of which, if not the decision itself, completely blindsided Brown, a source said. The abruptness and timing of the decision – five games into Brown’s first full season – was credited by one source to Lakers legend and former part-owner Magic Johnson finally winning “a turf war” with the younger Buss and convincing Lakers’ patriarch, Jerry Buss, that Brown must go. Johnson, the source said, would like to see former Laker and current Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw succeed Brown. Johnson, an ESPN and ABC analyst, has been repeatedly critical of Brown and last year announced that Brown would be fired if the Lakers failed to get past the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. The Lakers won the best-of-seven series, 4-3, before losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the next round, 4-1, but Kupchak dismissed any validity to Johnson’s remarks. A source close to Johnson, meanwhile, said talk of him being involved in Brown’s ouster now was “categorically untrue.” Jackson, while romantically involved with Lakers executive Jeanie Buss, has long had a strained relationship with her brother Jim. When Jackson’s last contract with the team expired following the 2010-11 season, Jim was granted authority over the team’s basketball operations by his father, Jerry, and seemed committed to shifting away from the team’s methodology under Jackson, including his Triangle offense. That offense almost assuredly would return if Jackson were granted authority and/or Shaw, a long-time assistant coach of Jackson during his Lakers’ tenure, were hired. Sources say there is a scenario in which both Jackson and Shaw would be hired, with Shaw as the head coach mentored by Jackson. Jackson proposed a similar arrangement to the Portland Trail Blazers at one point last summer, sources say, with former assistant Kurt Rambis as his head-coach protegè and Jackson overseeing basketball operations, but the Blazers declined.”

(RELATED CONTENT: Will Phil Jackson’s health be a factor in his decision?)

(POLL: Who should be the next coach of the Lakers?)

 

Poll: Who should be the next coach of the Lakers?

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This may be the shortest-lived poll in the history of this site.

Then again, Phil Jackson might say “no.”

With the Zen Master, you never can quite tell.

So without further ado, we ask you: Who do you think should be the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers now that Mike Brown has been fired?

Vote below, and the results will display after you have cast your ballot.