Sacramento Kings coach George Karl has had run-ins with superstar DeMarcus Cousins. But when asked who he thinks is the best center in the league today, the veteran coach had no doubt in his mind.
Karl is convinced that Cousins, despite their well-publicized conflict during the offseason, is the best center in the league.
"Is there a better center playing basketball right now in the NBA? I don't think there is," Karl told reporters.
When asked why, Karl pointed out that Cousins is a threat on both ends of the floor. The Kings coach is hoping that the league and his fellow coaches will take notice, and name Cousins an All-Star this year.
"He's helped us at both ends of the court," Karl continued. "I don't know anybody that's playing at this level right now, and I hope the NBA recognizes it and gives him an opportunity to play in Toronto."
Cousins, who is averaging 26.2 points and 11.2 rebounds this season, also did not hesitate to name himself as the best center in the league. But the 25-year-old also admitted that he still has a lot of room for improvement.
"I feel I can still improve in so many ways," Cousins added. "I feel I can improve a lot on the defensive end. I feel like I can make the pass more than I have. Still a lot of areas I need to improve. It's not about that. It's about playing the right way and helping this team get to the next level."
The former Kentucky standout is on a tear this month, as he has averaged 31.7 points and 13.7 rebounds on top of 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals in nine games. However, his latest string of strong performances was not enough for him to get a starting spot in the Western Conference All-Star team.
The league announced on Thursday that Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard will start for the Western Conference squad. On the other hand, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Kyle Lowry and Dwyane Wade were named Eastern Conference staters.