NBA / Casspi unhappy over reduced role
Frustrated over a lack of playing time and a limited number of offensive opportunities, Sacramento Kings rookie forward Omri Casspi confronted his head coach, Paul Westphal, after being removed from Saturday night's game against the Washington Wizards. The Kings eventually lost 96-86.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Casspi and Westphal had a heated exchange in the second half prompted by the coach's decision to substitute the struggling forward.
Saturday's loss in Washington was the third consecutive defeat for Sacramento. The losing streak has coincided with a significant reduction in playing time for Casspi, who is letting his dissatisfaction be known.
The Israeli forward logged just 24 minutes during Saturday's road loss to the Wizards. Casspi made just three of nine shots and scored a total of six points. He missed all three of his three-point attempts.
"I think Omri is super-competitive, and we want players who are super-competitive, but we've got to control our emotions, too," Westphal told the Bee. "He got a little upset about coming out of the game. Everybody gets upset about coming out of a game, [but] he is in a fight for playing time as well as in a fight with the other team. You have to focus your fight towards the other team and do as well as you can and make the most of your playing time."
The Kings recently welcomed swingman Kevin Martin back to their lineup, who had been absent for two months due to injury. Martin's return has forced the team to readjust its offensive sets, raising the possibility that there may not be enough shooting opportunities to satisfy the Israeli forward.
"I've been on the team 40 games, and even when I had bad days, I never had an argument or fight with [anybody]," Casspi told the Bee. "[The outburst] was part of the game. I got frustrated a little bit in the third quarter. I didn't really feel involved in the offense."
Westphal told the Bee that Casspi won't be fined, although he did indicate that he could levy a penalty in the future.