BOSTON (CBS) — DeMarcus Couins has been one angry man this season, losing it on the floor during games and with reporters off the court.
It appears he’s trying to get himself out of a horrible situation in Sacramento, a situation Danny Ainge and the Celtics may be able to take advantage of as they search for a star player.
Ainge joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday, and though he couldn’t comment on the Cousins situation, but said it does appear there are some issues with the player.
“I’m not allowed to comment on players from other teams,” said Ainge. “[Not] being there in person, I don’t know what all the details are. It looks like, from a distance, there are issues there. But I don’t know.
“Players get emotional,” he added. “I don’t know the whole story behind DeMarcus, so it’s not fair to comment on that.”
Ainge said if one of his Celtics players went after a media member, it’s a situation he would try to work out with both sides.
“I would try to find out what the cause of it was and try to fix it; get that player with the media member and figure out what’s going on so that doesn’t happen again,” said Ainge. “I’ve seen that happen. In my career I’ve seen players on Celtics teams, as a player, who have berated media members who had written things they didn’t like. I tried to talk them off the ledge.”
Ainge said the relationship between reporters and players is much different now. He remembers being friends with the media, and some would even go out to dinner with players.
“They did know some things they did not report, that’s for sure,” said Ainge.
Ainge said the worst confrontation between a player and the media came during his playing days, when Dennis Johnson went after a reporter following a bad shooting night.
“I remember DJ going off on a reporter, I won’t mention his name, for The Globe, and basically the reporter had just reported on bad shooting. It was just a reporter who was reporting a fact, that unless the Celtics’ guards start making shots they could be in trouble,” Ainge recalled. “It was a good fact and good reporting; it put the stats in on how bad DJ and I had shot the game before. DJ did not like that, at all, and made it known to that reporter in practice.”
A recent article said there were “too many big men” in the NBA, which Ainge disagrees with. He says the Celtics could certainly use some help down low, but he’s not just looking for a giant to clog up the paint.
“I don’t want just a big person. I want basketball players who can shoot, dribble and think – who can help our team,” said Ainge. “It’s not like baseball or football where you can say ‘we need a weak-side cornerback, or we need a second baseman who can hit.’ Basketball is different; you need to be able to do a little bit of everything. It’s hard to just say, ‘we need a rebounder,’ and put a rebounder out there who can’t help our transition defense, doesn’t help our offensive execution or your pick-and-roll defense, but he can rebound. It doesn’t work like that.
“We’re trying to make our team better,” asaid Ainge. “We could use better rebounding, and we knew that coming into the season, and rim protection. Those are tow things. We have to protect the rim by taking charges from out bigs around the rim. We’re not going to block as many shots as we need to, although Al Horfrd has done a magnificent job at shot-blocking. We need to keep the ball out of the paint with our guards, and they’re very good at that.”
Ainge also touched on the value he places on his own players, the worst free throw shooters he’s seen and the best coaches in college basketball. Listen to the full interview below: