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Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

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Jazz's Earl Watson says Kings' DeMarcus Cousins should try picking on him

Jazz guard Earl Watson said Friday if Sacramento forward DeMarcus Cousins wants to start something again with a Utah player, the Kings big man should pick him instead.

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"You can quote me on that," said Watson, prior to tipoff against Denver.

The small but fiery veteran didn't play Thursday during the Jazz's 103-102 against Sacramento. But he proudly watched Utah guard Devin Harris stand up to Cousins, coldly eyeing the moody forward during an in-game confrontation and never giving ground.

After the contest, Cousins called Harris a "kid" and said he was "tired" of the guard.

"I don't know what his issue is, but I can definitely solve it," Cousins said.

Before Utah played Denver, Harris — who rarely gives pregame interviews — said he didn't want to talk about the incident because he had a game to focus on.

If Cousins tries to start anything March 30 when Utah hosts Sacramento, Watson said he'll be ready.

"The DeMarcus kid: I don't know," Watson said. "We're in the playoff hunt. I'm not sure what his purpose is. I know what our purpose is."

Inspired by his team's strong edge and Harris standing up to Cousins, Watson reflected on his time in Memphis playing for coach Hubie Brown.

"No one wanted to deal with Hubie because Hubie, he'd talk to you for 40 minutes straight and not let you get in a word. And no word would be nice or quotable. And then he'd tell you he loves you," Watson said. "It was extreme."

The 11-year veteran believes the NBA is still a physical game, despite a lack of hard fouls and most in-game jawing rarely turning into punches.

"I don't think the game is different, I just think it's reprimanded differently," Watson said. "Guys have different mentalities. Probably because it'd be like coach [Jerry] Sloan who'd chase guys on the court. Like, 'This coach is crazy.' "

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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