Jazz notebook: Earl Watson wants the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins to pick on somebody his own size (or Watson)

Published: Friday, March 23 2012 11:07 p.m. MDT

Sacramento Kings head coach Keith Smart directs the Kings against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, March 22, 2012. The Jazz won 103-102.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

Steve Yeater, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — The next time DeMarcus Cousins picks on somebody his own size will be the first time.

At least that's the way Earl Watson sees it.

Simply put, the Jazz guard has been less than impressed about how the Kings' 6-foot-11, 270-pounder has made a recent habit of bumping into the Jazz's 6-2, 192-pound Devin Harris.

That has happened multiple times the last two times Utah and Sacramento squared off.

On Thursday, Harris, an offseason Dallas resident, responded by giving Cousins a face-to-chest don't-mess-with-this-Texan stare.

"I've never seen (Cousins) do that with a guy his size. Have you?" Watson said. "That says a lot."

Watson also called Cousins' comments about Harris "comical." On Thursday, Cousins told reporters, "Honestly, I'm tired of the kid."

For the record, the second-year Cousins is 21 years old. Harris recently turned 29.

"I'm tired of him," Cousins continued. "I don't know what his issue is, but I can definitely solve it."

That last part especially cracked Watson up.

"I didn't see him hit (Derrick) Favors. I didn't see him hit (Enes) Kanter," Watson said. "But every time he plays Devin, he wants to bump Devin. I mean, wow. Unbelievable, unbelievable. I don't what to say. I'm speechless."

Harris didn't have much to say about it, either.

"I'm too mature for all that," the eight-year NBA veteran said. "I've got to focus on Denver."

Harris isn't sure why Cousins has bumped into him a few times.

"It started last game," Harris said, referring to Utah's Feb. 28 visit to Sacramento when Cousins received a technical foul after bumping into the Jazz guard on an inbounds pass.

Cousins told the Sacramento Bee that he warned officials before tipoff to pay attention to Harris, whom he claimed tended to mix it up with him.

When Cousins brushed Harris while chasing a ball out of bounds, the Jazz veteran wasn't about to back down.

"I wasn't trying to send a message," he said. "I'm not going to let anybody intimidate me. It's counterproductive."

Watson wouldn't mind if he's the next little guy Cousins tries to bump around.

"I hope I am," the 6-1, 199-pounder said. "You can quote that."

Watson said he learned from his old coach in Memphis, Hubie Brown, that players should have their teammates' backs.

Watson then returned his attention to Cousins: "We're in a playoff hunt. I'm not sure what his purpose is, but I know what our team's purpose is."

By the way, Cousins and the Kings visit EnergySolutions Arena on Friday.

Rest assured, referees will be watching more than just Harris in that one.

PUT ME IN COACH: Watson is getting antsy to play again. He hasn't seen the court during a game since spraining his ankle during the second quarter against Phoenix a week-and-a-half ago.

"I'm ready to play," Watson said.

The Jazz, however, are content to allow his still-healing ankle to get 100 percent, according to Corbin.

"He thinks he can go," the Jazz coach said. "We can afford now to be a little more careful with him and not let him get reinjured and be out for an extended amount of time."

And, yes, Corbin admitted that's because of the way Jamaal Tinsley has played in Watson's absence.

Still, Watson, who energized the second unit this season before his injury, believes he's healthy enough to play.

Asked if he thinks the Jazz don't believe him when he tells them he's ready, Watson responded: "I don't know. Disappointing. Beyond disappointing."

NO BELL: Raja Bell missed his 14th game this season Friday. According to the team, he didn't play in this one because of his strained left adductor.

However, the 35-year-old said he feels "great" and could play.

"I'm OK, man," Bell said when asked if that's frustrating. "There comes a point in your career where you realize that ultimately you don't control most of this, so I try to stay ready, put in your road work, shoot your jumpers. If a chance comes, then you're ready for it. Until then, that's all you can do."

Bell referred questions about why he isn't dressing to the Jazz. Corbin has said the staff wants Bell to get completely healthy before returning.

Email: jody@desnews.com

Twitter: DJJazzyJody

Blog: Jazzland.blog.deseretnews.com

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