After the altercation Cousins then refused to talk to any reporters in the post-game interview while Furrillo was in the room.
Kings management released a statement Thursday saying they are looking into the matter.
“We are committed to being open and transparent, and any hint of media censorship is unacceptable,” the statement said. “There is an ongoing review into this matter, and we will take the appropriate steps immediately upon its conclusion.”
Josh Robbins, president of the Professional Basketball Writers Association, called the incident “troubling” but an “extreme outlier” in how athletes treat journalists.
In a statement, Robbins said, “Professional reporters or columnists and the people they cover will not always agree on what is written or broadcast. … But each side should treat the other with mutual respect and professionalism. An overwhelming number of NBA players – maybe 99.9 percent – treat the professional news media admirably.”
For the journalists who cover the Kings, Cousins’ tirade and threat to refuse the required NBA post-game interview is an all-too-familiar pattern of abusive behavior.
“He is a bully, to be sure,” said Bee columnist Ailene Voisin, who has extensive experience covering the NBA, as well as the NFL and MLB. “He bullies everybody. He bullies his coaches, his teammates, team employees, reporters.
“But this is the first time I have heard of him intimidating anyone physically,” she said. “He normally glares, stares and refuses to speak to the cluster of reporters if someone is present that he is annoyed with at that particular time. Or, he will simply refuse to answer a question from an offending reporter.”