After a blowout loss against the Spurs last November, DeMarcus Cousins was not happy with his then-head coach George Karl. According to reports, Cousins was so angry after Sacramento lost to fall to 1-7 on the season that he cursed Karl out in front of all his teammates and didn’t stop until Karl finally got up and walked away. It was one of the lowest points of the Kings’ disastrous season.
It was also one of the most confusing nights of the Kings’ season, because just moments after Cousins went off on Karl, Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé walked into the locker room with Drake, who had attended the game and sat courtside with the owner. Now, Drake is obviously no stranger to locker rooms. He’s been known to show up and celebrate with teams after big wins. But the Kings had just lost 106-88 and were clearly in no mood to party. It led to a really uncomfortable interaction between Drake and several Kings players, including Cousins:
Recently, USA Today reporter Sam Amick spoke at length with Ranadivé about the Kings and their new Golden 1 Center arena, and at one point during the interview, Ranadivé asked to speak about the night that he decided to bring Drake into the Sacramento locker room after his team’s loss. He wanted to try and set the record straight, since he was called out for making the decision to do it despite the obvious tension in the locker room that night.
"He’s friends with DeMarcus," Ranadivé said. "And by the way, I’ve never ever been into the locker room [after a game]. So when [Drake] was on his way, he said, 'Hey, I’m just going to go say hi to DeMarcus.' He had come all the way to support him, and I didn’t know that [there had been a fight between Cousins and Karl]."
Ranadivé also discussed how and why Drake ended up coming to the game and sitting with him in the first place—and he made it sound like he didn't have much choice in the matter.
"Here’s the thing, OK?" Ranadivé said. "I’m a huge fan of basketball, and I would like nothing better than to just sit there and watch the game. That’s like my No. 1 choice. But I also know that I represent the brand and they’re trying to make this a place that people come [to]. They’re trying to make this like L.A. or like Oakland now has become, where it’s a who’s who of people coming. So they have people come, and then I’m expected to sit with them and chat with them. [Drake] loves Boogie. He loves Kentucky. He loves Coach [John] Calipari. And I had no—I just do what they tell me to do. And so they say, 'Hey, sit here with Drake, or sit here with Jamie Foxx, or sit here with this person.' For me, I would rather just sit there. It’s work for me. When that happens, I’m working. I’m entertaining them, talking to them."
Hmmm…that probably won’t make Drake want to come back to a Kings game anytime soon. And as if that wasn’t enough, Ranadivé then spilled the beans and revealed what everyone already knew while discussing his decision to bring Drake into the Kings’ locker room on that fateful night—that Karl had tried to trade Cousins last summer, which was one of the many reasons Cousins went off on him.
"You know, look, George had tried to trade Cousins that whole summer," Ranadivé said, "and there was not a lot of love between those two, and so there was tension there. So that was not a new thing."
You can read the rest of Ranadivé’s interview with Amick here. It definitely doesn’t paint him or the Kings in the best light.