Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac has strongly insisted that coach George Karl's job is secure amid mounting frustrations and locker room tension.
"George's job is not in jeopardy. Absolutely not," Divac told reporters Wednesday. "Nothing has changed. I believe in him. I believe he is good for us. Yes, we struggle, but you can see the way we played tonight, we have the talent, and we will turn this around."
The Kings held a team meeting Tuesday, and a report by the TheBigLead.com said Divac had asked players whether they thought the team should fire Karl. On Wednesday, Divac denied that was what was said.
"I never asked the players if I should fire Coach or said I was thinking of doing that," Divac said. "I walked into the locker room after the game and said, 'OK, you guys don't want to play with Coach? What's the problem?'
"I wanted to catch them by surprise a little bit and get them to talk openly about what was going on. Then the coaches came in, and we talked some more. I think it was very positive for everyone."
The report also detailed a confrontation in which star forward DeMarcus Cousins directed a profanity-laced outburst at Karl after Monday's loss to San Antonio. It was Cousins' first game back after a four-game injury absence.
The Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday that Karl wanted to suspend Cousins for two games for the outburst but was blocked by Divac from doing so. Cousins scored 33 points in Wednesday's 101-92 win over Detroit to help the Kings improve to 2-7.
The team then had a meeting with players, coaches and front-office personnel. It was a meeting that was fairly typical for a team on a six-game losing streak, with players airing grievances and complaining about roles, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com.
Several players on the team, including veteran forward Rudy Gay and third-year guard Ben McLemore, have expressed frustrations with Karl in recent days in conversations with management, sources said.
Karl, the Kings' fourth coach in the past three seasons under owner Vivek Ranadive, is 13-26 since taking over. Sacramento hosts the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.
ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein contributed to this report.