While you were sleeping: George Karl wants the Kings to trade DeMarcus Cousins, and Cousins subtweets his coach with emojis

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By JOHN DORN

Nike once said that basketball never stops. The same can be said about basketball trade rumors, and the ensuing Twitter storm that's sure to follow.

This was certainly the case early Tuesday morning, when Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski dropped the bomb at 1:23 a.m. ET: Newly minted Kings head coach George Karl wants Sacramento's best player, All-NBA Second Team center DeMarcus Cousins, shipped out ASAP.



The report came just an hour after Kings owner Vivek Ranadive spoke with USA Today's Sam Amick, emphatically declaring that Cousins would not be moved.



Wojnarowski's report raises a number of questions in regards to the Kings' current structure. Management practically bent over backwards to accommodate Karl last winter, firing young, promising coach Michael Malone (with whom Cousins had a good relationship with) just 24 games into the season and hiring Karl to a four-year deal in February.

The report indicates that Karl, who's been notoriously power-hungry over his 26-year coaching career, is merely coaching the team to surpass Don Nelson on the all-time coaching wins leaderboard. Yahoo also brings up the notion that Ranadive wouldn't allow the team to fully rebuild, as he wants the Kings' roster filled out with veterans for their move to a new arena next season.

The Los Angeles Lakers have had significant interest with Cousins, but their No. 2 overall pick isn't as appealing to the Kings as finding a deal that includes established, veteran players. Ranadive doesn't want to rebuild with a move into a new arena on the horizon, and Karl is chasing Don Nelson's all-time NBA career victories record. Karl's interest isn't in cultivating long-term assets, but rather compiling as many victories as possible in the near future.


It's important to remember who's in Cousins' camp here, though: agent Dan Fegan, who was also Dwight Howard's agent during the seasons-long Dwightmare that moved the center from Orlando to Los Angeles and then Houston in three seasons. The agent has no issue pitting sides against each other in order to leverage a situation.

A bit of critical thinking could lead you to believe that Wojnarowski's source here was Cousins' own agent, who's spinning this story in the most favorable way for his client.

Less than an hour after the report surfaced, while the Twittersphere was firing on all circuits, Cousins himself added some fuel to the enormously combustable situation.



Emoji translation: When the grass is cut, the snakes will show. In this situation, Karl being the snake.

The eery aspect to all of this emerges after a little Twitter research. As it turns out, Karl isn't particularly favored within the player fraternity. At least four other players have tweeted the same exact message, presumably about Karl, either during or shortly after their tenures together.



Definitely a mind boggling development, and one to monitor very closely in the coming weeks. Even despite Ranadive's (and Vlade Divak's) public vote of approval, the relationship between Karl and Cousins seems headed toward a very toxic place. It's already hard to imagine the pair coinciding for very long.

Just two years into Ranadive's reign as Kings owner, the organzation is quickly rising up the ranks of the most dysfunctional in the NBA.

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