DeMarcus Cousins raised eyebrows when he said he considered himself a future Hall of Famer. His case is in large part founded on blaming the Sacramento Kings for limiting his achievements. “I had two owners, three GMs, seven coaches in seven years.” Surely his favorite coach, George Karl, felt the need to respond to Boogie's criticism of the Kings.
Boogie vs. Karl
Cousins always seemed like his own worst enemy. On and off the court, somehow it was always someone else's fault. The only reason James Harden and Chris Paul managed to nab the "complaining to the refs" crown was Boogie's unfortunate absence due to several significant injuries.
While Cousins often deflected responsibility on the court, he has a very strong case off the court. Boogie landed in probably the worst run organization in the NBA in the 21st century, and his summation of what went wrong is on point.
“I would’ve skipped my draft workout [in Sacramento]. What did Sac do for me? Besides, say my name [draft day]. I did more for them than they did for me. That’s just being honest. Just being 100% honest. I had two owners, three GMs, seven coaches in seven years.”
DeMarcus Cousins, Andscape
A few of the coaches Boogie had took the heat when they were not responsible - Dave Joerger and Michael Malone, who brought Boogie to Denver, are first to come to mind. But if there's one coach Cousins didn't miss and was happy he got fired, it was surely George Karl. Seeing his comment on Sacramento, Karl tweeted a response to the “What did Sac do for me?” part.
Most people that reacted to Karl's tweet made the same point - he would've gotten that from any other team that would've drafted him. His response is just another example of why Karl found it increasingly difficult to create a positive connection with his players.
George Karl and his players
In our interview with Coach Karl, he spoke directly about Boogie and their relationship. If you didn't know anything else about the two, you'd think they had a good working relationship.
“The only thing I'd bring to the table on Demarcus is he has negative energy, and when things go wrong, he has powerful negative energy. ... I love him as a player, he's not a bad guy, he's a good guy, smart guy, has good basketball IQ. I'm hoping he figures out his career.”
George Karl, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network
But that wasn't the case. After his first season in Sacramento, Karl pushed for Cousins to be traded. When Boogie found out about it, he made his feelings known via Twitter.
Years later, Karl responded to a HoopsHype tweet, and it showed there was a lot of bad blood left between the two.
George Karl was never shy about his feelings and thoughts about the players he coached, nor were they shy to respond. He called out Carmelo for being “a user of people, addicted to the spotlight and very unhappy when he had to share it." Kenyon Martin shared an episode when he wanted to “beat George up in that hall.” Then there was the time Baron Davis said he's not a Hall of Fame coach because he ”ruined more careers than he helped.” Andre Miller didn't speak to Karl for an entire decade for the way his trade was handled.
The truth is often in the middle, and only those involved know what really happened. But where there's smoke, there's fire and so many episodes make one thing certain. Karl is one of the most controversial coaches in NBA history.