In response to a request for comment, former Kings coach Michael Malone weighed in on DeMarcus Cousins being named to the Western Conference All-Star team roster on Friday.
[NEWS: Cousins replaces Kobe on All-Star roster]
"I am delighted to hear that DeMarcus was named to the All-Star team,” Malone said. “It is a well-deserved honor that not only recognizes his immense talents as a player but also his growth as a young man.
"I know this will be the first of many All-Star appearances for DeMarcus as the best is yet to come. I am proud of DeMarcus and will always have the utmost respect for him as a player and as a person,” Malone told CSNCalifornia.com.
Cousins, who had forged a strong relationship with Malone, is thriving, averaging 23.8 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, ranking fifth and third, respectively, in the NBA. Both represent career highs.
After the Kings started the season at 9-6, Cousins missed nine games due to viral meningitis and Sacramento went 2-7 without the 6-foot-11 center.
As the Kings record slid to 11-13, Malone was surprisingly fired. Sacramento (16-28) has lost seven straight games and is 5-15 under Malone’s replacement Tyrone Corbin.
Malone went 28-54 last year in his first as the franchise's head coach and posted an overall record in Sacramento of 39-67.
The 64th NBA All Star game is at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Sunday Feb. 15.