SACRAMENTO (AFP) - DeMarcus Cousins escaped a suspension but the Sacramento Kings slapped the National Basketball Association club's centre with a US$50,000 (S$72,230) fine for bullying a reporter in the team's locker room, the US media reported on Tuesday.
He took issue on Dec 12 with a column written by Sacramento Bee writer Andy Furillo. The story mentioned Cousins' brother Jaleel and cited an alleged confrontation involving Cousins at a Tampa-area bar last spring. The incident led to Jaleel's arrest.
"Don't ever mention my brother again," a video showed the 2.11m Cousins saying as he towered over Furillo. "You don't know my (expletive) brother. (Expletive) coward.
"You say whatever the (expletive) you want to say about me, but don't mention my (expletive) family."
The fine is the latest in a series of off-court and on-court incidents that have plagued Cousins' career.
The amount of the fine was reported by the Sacramento Bee.
"As a result of negative interactions with certain members of the media that were not corrected after verbal warnings, we have decided to impose a substantial fine," the team said in a statement.
"If this behaviour is repeated again we will be forced to consider further discipline."
Cousins is currently being sued, along with team-mate Matt Barnes, for an alleged assault at a different New York City nightclub on Dec 5. The Kings were in town to play the New York Knicks.
Cousins issued a partial apology in a prepared statement which was released by the team. He did not apologise to the reporter.
"There is a time, place and manner to say everything, and I chose the wrong ones," he said. "Like most people, I am fiercely protective of my friends and family, and I let my emotions get the best of me in this situation.
"I apologise to my team-mates, fans and the Kings organisation for my behaviour."
The two-time All-Star is averaging 28.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks through 26 games this season with the Kings.