Kings probing incidents of Cousins bullying reporters
The Sacramento Kings say they are looking into center DeMarcus Cousins' interactions with local beat reporters, specifically Andy Furillo of the Sacramento Bee.
The publication's executive editor and senior vice president, Joyce Terhaar, published a report - including video - of the confrontation Cousins had with Furillo this past Monday, as well as several other confrontations he's had with other Kings reporters in the recent past.
"We are committed to being open and transparent, and any hint of media censorship is unacceptable," Kings management said in a statement, according to Terhaar. "There is an ongoing review into this matter, and we will take the appropriate steps immediately upon its conclusion."
Cousins was incensed over a column Furillo wrote last weekend, in which he suggested Cousins and teammate Matt Barnes - who are being sued for allegedly assaulting a couple at a New York nightclub - find "better places to hang out."
The column also briefly touched on an incident from back in May involving Cousins and his brother at a Tampa club, which is what set Cousins off.
"We're going to have some real f---ing issues," he told Furillo in the Kings' locker room, while pointing angrily in his face. "Don't ever mention my brother again. You don't know my f---ing brother. F---ing coward. You say whatever the f--- you wanna say about me, but don't mention my motherf---ing family."
The video also showed a separate incident from early last season, in which Cousins called Furillo a "f---ing clown" after Furillo interrupted him while he was answering a question. In addition, it showed two incidents from this past November in which Cousins demonstrated his displeasure with Kings blog Cowbell Kingdom - one in which he refused to answer questions while a reporter from the blog was in the room, the other in which he directly confronted the blog's managing editor, Leo Beas.
Other reporters corroborated the visual evidence.
"He is a bully, to be sure," Sacramento Bee reporter Ailene Voisin told Terhaar. "He bullies everybody. He bullies his coaches, his teammates, team employees, reporters.
"But this is the first time I have heard of him intimidating anyone physically. He normally glares, stares, and refuses to speak to the cluster of reporters if someone is present that he is annoyed with at that particular time. Or, he will simply refuse to answer a question from an offending reporter."
Professional Basketball Writers Association president Josh Robbins also weighed in on the situation.
"Professional reporters or columnists and the people they cover will not always agree on what is written or broadcast," Robbins said in a statement, according to Terhaar. "But each side should treat the other with mutual respect and professionalism."