Sacramento, CA Ė The Sacramento Kings say former No. 5 draft pick DeMarcus Cousins was told to stay home from Sunday night's game against New Orleans after demanding a trade.
In a statement released by the Kings, head coach Paul Westphal said it was in the best interest of the team that the second-year center not be around for the game.
After Sacramento's 96-80 win, Westphal expanded to say he didn't want Cousins around at all if the player didn't want to be a member of the team.
Westphal's initial statement was:
"Whenever a new season begins, in any sport, there is great hope that everything will progress in only a steady, upward direction. As we all know, it seldom happens like that in this life!
"As coaches, we can only ask that our players do everything they can to improve themselves as individuals and teammates. If they do this with all their hearts, we live with the results.
"Everything that happens on a team does not become known to the public. This is how it should be. However, when a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely.
"DeMarcus Cousins has demanded to be traded. In the best interest of our team as we go forward, he has been directed by me, with the support of management, to stay home from the New Orleans game tonight."
Cousins, taken in the first round out of Kentucky in 2010, averaged 14.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 81 games for Sacramento last season. He was averaging 13.0 points and 11.3 rebounds in four games this season.
The center was fined by the Kings last season for an off-the-court incident involving a teammate. The altercation with Donte Greene reportedly occurred in the locker room.