Sacramento - Veteran point guard Darren Collison took center stage Monday afternoon at the Kings practice facility. After receiving an eight-game suspension from the NBA for a domestic violence conviction during the offseason, Collison stood in to answer questions from the media as he tries to move forward.
“I accept the penalty and now it’s time to move forward, try and focus on the future and do whatever it takes to help my teammates win,” Collison told media members on Monday.
The wait hung over the team like a dark cloud the first week of training camp. Now that the verdict is in on how long Collison will sit, the Kings can return their focus to the task at hand - preparing for the upcoming season.
“I’m not to judge what was fair or what should or shouldn’t have been done,” coach Dave Joerger said. “I’m mostly excited it’s been announced. So now we make our plan and we go forward.”
Collison was arrested following an altercation with his wife on May 30. After being charged with two misdemeanors in June, he pleaded guilty to one count of domestic violence on September 2. Following the conviction, it wasn’t a matter of if he would be suspended by the league, but for how long.
“It was out of my control,” Collison said of the suspension. “Right now it’s just about putting it behind me, you know what I mean. Focusing on my family. Focusing on the team and going from there.”
Collison said he understands if there will be backlash from the fans. He has accepted responsibility for his role in the incident and has a new sense of humility.
“I know my situation, I know exactly what happened,” Collison said. “From here, you’ve just got to move forward and accept it and just go from there.”
According to Collison, the NBA held an extensive investigation into the incident. He even flew to New York to meet with the league to discuss the situation.
“They did what they had to do,” Collison said of the NBA. “I respect (their decision). It’s something that you have to do and it’s understandable.”
DeMarcus Cousins stood closely by as Collison fielded questions. When Collison finished with the media, the All-Star center stepped in and spoke as well.
“We all know DC’s an incredible guy,” Cousins said. “It’s unfortunate that he’s going through a situation like this, but he has the support from his family, from his teammates, from the organization to help him get through this and move on from it and we’ll be ready for him when he gets back.”
With Collison out, veterans Ty Lawson and Garrett Temple will handle the position until he is eligible to return Nov. 8 when the Kings take on the New Orleans Pelicans at the Golden 1 Center.