Long before the Jazz and Kings met for Friday’s game at EnergySolutions Arena, Sacramento coach Keith Smart offered a passionate speech about players holding grudges.
“That’s for nursery school kids,” he said, referring to the growing feud between the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins and Utah’s Devin Harris. “These are men in the NBA. If they want to be nursery school kids and carry this over from something that happened a week ago, then go to the playground and get on a seesaw.”
Neither Cousins nor Harris spoke to the media after their morning shootaround sessions.
There has been some tension between the two dating back to a game in Sacramento last month. It seemed to escalate when the Jazz again visited the Kings and Cousins gave Harris a hard bump, sending him to the floor. Harris jumped back up and confronted the 6-foot-11 Cousins. The two had to be separated, but afterward Cousins had some pointed comments toward the Jazz point guard.
Jazz center Al Jefferson downplayed the situation, indicating he didn’t want it to distract his team’s focus.
“I don’t know and I really don’t care about it (about the bad blood),” Jefferson said. “Devin’s going out there to win games. I’m pretty sure there are more things on Devin’s mind besides mind besides DeMarcus Cousins.”
Smart didn’t specifically mention Cousins or Harris, but he did reiterate the importance of playing with a level head.
Be men, he said.
“These are grown men in a professional basketball environment where people come to a game, fans pay to see come see guys perform the floor,” he said. “If they want to go to the playground and get on the seesaws, go do that. But right now we’re men in the NBA and that happened a week ago.”