Update: After the game, Smart said Cousins was benched for "conduct detrimental to the team."
"Conduct detrimental to the team…and we’ll leave it at that" -Smart on DMC’s DNPCD in 2nd half.— Sactown Royalty (@sactownroyalty) December 22, 2012
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was benched for the second half on Friday after reportedly exchanging words with Kings head coach Keith Smart.
Television broadcasts during the Kings game against the Los Angeles Clippers showed Smart and Cousins exchanging words at the end of the second quarter. When the Kings came out for the second half, Cousins was not with the team. Later reports indicated Cousins had been benched for the second half and told to stay in the locker room.
It's still unknown what the issue between Smart and Cousins was or whether there was an additional incident during halftime. Cousins played 20 minutes during the first half, scoring nine points to go along with five rebounds. Cousins, who was suspended one game earlier this season for hitting O.J. Mayo below the waist, has started 22 games for the Kings this season. He's had reported maturity issues in the past, but Smart has previously spoken high of Cousins' development.