Kings coach Paul Westphal said he told DeMarcus Cousins to stay home from tonight's game after Cousins asked to be traded last night for the second time this season.
Cousins was among several Kings players who were visibly frustrated with the Kings' recent three-game skid when addressing reporters following the 114-92 loss to the New York Knicks last night.
Westphal said Cousins later told Westphal he wanted to be traded. The Kings' second-year center had already asked for a trade earlier this season, Westphal said.
Cousins' agent, John Greig, told The Bee earlier today that it is "absolutely not true that DeMarcus or I demanded a trade. We need to find out what the position of the organization is. Nobody has talked to me and I would look forward to talking to the Maloofs."
Westphal said the fact that Cousins demanded a trade is "simply true," and said that, "It's silly to have the agent deny it just because he didn't get a call before DeMarcus talked to me."
The Kings released a statement from Westphal shortly after 3 p.m. today in which Westphal said Cousins had been directed to stay home from the Kings' game against the New Orleans Hornets tonight.
Westphal said he "considered all possibilities" about how to handle Cousins' request, but decided that telling Cousins to stay home from tonight's game was "by far the best solution."
"I think it's time for this solution," Westphal said. "Like I said in my statement, and again I'm elaborating, there are many, many things that go on behind closed doors in this business that's nobody's business. You've heard of the cliche 'the tip of the iceberg.' This is certainly the tip of the iceberg. You can only have so many chances and something has to be done, and it's time that something has to be done."
Asked whether the Kings organization is looking to trade Cousins, Westphal said: "You'll have to ask Geoff (Petrie) about that."
Westphal said he did not know if Cousins will accompany the Kings on their upcoming road trip. The Kings play at Memphis on Tuesday, then at Denver on Wednesday.
"I think that DeMarcus has to do some soul-searching and decide if he's going to join in in a way that's desirable and acceptable to this organization," Westphal said.
Westphal said he "(hopes) that DeMarcus has a change of heart and joins up with full reinstatement, and that's really all up to him. I hope that, but this will give him the best chance to do that and if he chooses not to do that, we'll be better off going forward in the same direction."
Westphal said that when Cousins was told to stay home from the game tonight, "He said 'OK' and left."
J.J. Hickson will start in Cousins' place against the Hornets.
-- Matt Kawahara