For the second straight year, the Kings will be well-represented during All-Star Weekend. On Tuesday, second-year guard Tyreke Evans and rookie DeMarcus Cousins were selected to compete in the 2011 Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam in L.A.
Last year’s ROY and MVP of the Rookie-Sophomore game, Evans, is looking forward to representing Sacramento during the All-Star break.
“Yes, I’m excited, and I’m just going to have fun — it’s the (Rookie-Sophomore) All-Star Game and I’ll get to play against DeMarcus,” the guard said.
Although Evans has battled plantar fasciitis this season, he plans to participate in the All-Star festivities.
“For right now, I think so,” he said. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to play.”
Being joined in Southern California by his teammate, Cousins, Evans may have a few tricks up his sleeve for the rookie.
“It’s going to be fun, it’s just like going against him in practice — just in front of a lot of people,” he explained.
“If he gets on me, I might throw it through his legs or off his head. Anything I can do to make him mad.”
Assistant coach Jim Eyen believes Cousins will have a few tricks up his sleeve as well and knows the rookie is eager to participate.
“I’m sure DeMarcus is honored,” said Eyen. “It shows the respect he’s earned around the League, and I think it’s quite an accomplishment for any rookie to be selected.”
The two young stars will be just as competitive and aren’t looking to hold back when facing each other.
“It will be a lot of fun for them I’m sure,” said the veteran assistant. “Once they throw the ball up and start playing I think they will be adversaries and compete against each other. They also try to keep it light, and I think it will be a lot of fun for them.”
In addition to taking on a fellow teammate, Cousins will once again play alongside his good friends and former Kentucky teammates John Wall and Eric Bledsoe.
“They probably still have a lot of chemistry together, and it will probably help their team a lot,” said Eyen. “I think the whole situation will be a great experience for them.”
Evans and Cousins will square off on Friday, Feb. 18 in Los Angeles during the NBA All-Star Weekend.
Injury Report Presented by UC Davis Health System
After leaving Tuesday night’s game, Darnell Jackson was diagnosed with costochondritis (inflammation of the rib cartilage) Wednesday.
“Darnell did not practice today because he was getting cleared,” said Coach Paul Westphal. “The appointment conflicted with the practice time. He’ll be full-participation tomorrow.”
The team announced Wednesday rookie Hassan Whiteside will be out for the next two weeks, before being re-evaluated, due to a partial patellar tendon tear in his left knee.
Jason Thompson remains listed as out with a sprained right ankle, but he participated in Wednesday’s practice.