Demarcus Cousins has called out fellow NBA star Chris Paul, just hours after it was announced that the pair would form part of Team USA basketball going forward.
In an interview with Grantland.com, the Sacramento Kings center had some choice words on the LA Clippers, and Chris Paul in particular:
"It's just, some players I don't respect.
"Just their playing style of basketball. I don't respect it. I feel like it's basically cheating and I don't respect a cheater."
Cousins has history with Paul.
At the end of a November encounter between the Clippers and the Kings, Cousins actively restrained his teammate, Isaiah Thomas, from shaking hands with Paul.
With the Clippers point guard known to occasionally overstep the line in pursuit of victory, it seems that Cousins is happy to go on record and voice his unhappiness with the situation:
"If that's your tactic to winning, I don't respect you," the 23-year old explained.
The timing of Cousins outburst is unfortunate with the Kings player having been included in the 28-player pool for Team USA - his first involvement with the senior national side, and an environment his adversary Chris Paul knows well.
Paul has won gold with Team USA twice already and it was no surprise that he was also included in the pool released today.
It will be fun to see how these guys play together should they line up for Team USA in the future.