DeMarcus Cousins’ time to grow up is now, or teams should walk away from this black hole of an attitude.
Cousins has always been seen as a great raw talent with mountains of potential coming out of Kentucky, but he is also regarded as having enormous attitudes issues. The hope for many of these types of players is that they will eventually mature with a few years in the league, refine their talent, and learn to control their outbursts. Sometimes it works out great. Just look at the year O.J. Mayo is putting together in Dallas. Yet, sometimes it spirals wildly out of control like Cousins’ year in Sacramento.
Cousins’ latest eruption that has him suspended indefinitely from the Sacramento Kings is a little unknown. What is known is that a confrontation took place during the Kings halftime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last Saturday between Cousins and Kings coach Keith Smart. The official word coming out of Sacramento is that he is being disciplined for “unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team.” I wish I had an Iphone recording a video clip of whatever went down at that half time pep talk.
This is only the latest in a string of incidents with Cousins. Just a week ago, Cousins was suspended for a game for intentionally hitting O.J. Mayo in the groin. Back in November he was suspended for two games for confronting Spurs announcer Sean Elliot in a “hostile manner” following a Sacramento loss to San Antonio. Yes, he has the trifecta of going after players, announcers, and coaching. He could be the new Latrell Sprewell, a dubious distinction.
Smart had this to say involving Cousins, “We’re trying to set a standard here, and when guys move below that standard, things are going to take place. We’ll just move on to the next game and I’ll make some decisions from there.”
That’s a real gentle way of saying Cousins has just about run out his welcome in Sacramento, but his ability to produce is still undeniable. Cousins is averaging a team high 16.6 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 2.1 APG this season and those are numbers that a lot of teams can’t easily walk away from.
Last season Cousins clashed with former Kings coach Paul Westphal who questioned his commitment to the team. This is a player that can absolutely play at this level, but will never be a contributing member of a winning team because he puts himself above the team and above a group-winning concept. He is a selfish individual and a selfish player that thinks of no one but himself on and off the court.
Cousins had this weak response in regards to his latest incident. “What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room. But I was wrong. I was wrong. I’m a player that definitely wants to win every night, and I’m an emotional player. That’s never going to change. But I shouldn’t have responded back. Something was said, and I just should have stayed quiet. Is it a humbling thing? Yeah, I will say that. I mean, I messed up and I apologize to my teammates for responding the way I did and I’ll move on from it.”
The Kings and NBA have heard Cousins’ remorseful sentiments before. The problem is even if they are heartfelt, Cousins appears incapable of change. This is one player that is at least three to five years away from possessing the maturement to play with a team in the NBA. Perhaps it will take a dwindling of his skills before he sees the need to get along with his teammates.
At this point in time, Cousins is a complete waste of money for any NBA team serious about winning.
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