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July 9, 2012
Kings' Cousins clears air with Colangelo

LAS VEGAS - I will address this more extensively in tomorrow's Bee, but Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, upset that USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo characterized him as "immature" in a teleconference with reporters on Saturday, approached the USAB boss to discuss the matter about an hour ago.

Cousins is among members of the Select Team e here scrimmaging and training with the 2012 Olympic squad. The 6-foot-11 center was extremely physical - throwing elbows and amassing fouls - in the Friday's opening day of practice. Colangelo and other USA officials and coaches weren't thrilled with his overly aggressive approach, or his frequent complaining to the referees.

By all accounts, however, the third-year center has progressed significantly by the day. (One GM who watched Sunday's entire session after members of the press were booted said DMC was exceptional).

"I asked him how I was being immature," related Cousins. "He said it was just his opinion. I told him I wasn't trying to get into any of that. I have respect for every veteran. At the end of the day I'm just trying to play hard. Everybody knows that, to even have a chance (to make final roster) we have to play harder than we normally do .... I'm just trying to end the camp on a positive (note)."

Contacted on his cell phone after the team had returned to the hotel, Colangelo said he appreciated Cousins' willingness to discuss the situation. "He wanted an explanation," said USAB czar. "I was trying ... to be more encouraging than anything else. I told him, 'everything's cool.' We're fine."

As a side note here, before Monday's practice, Colangelo pulled me aside and said that, when I raised the question about Cousins' during the teleconference that was scheduled to name the final 12-man Olympic team, he physically was not feeling well and wasn't in the best of moods. When I contacted a few minutes ago, he was at a doctor's office getting examined, and still not feeling well.

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