HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We’re doing our very best to resist the urge to jump to conclusions about Kings rookie center DeMarcus Cousins.
Really, we are trying to give the young fella the benefit of the doubt in his latest scrape. But he’s making it so tough. Instead of letting his solid play do all the talking for him, Cousins continues to live up to the pre-Draft hype that labeled him a monster talent with monster baggage.
After having running afoul of coach Paul Westphal‘s rules earlier this season, Cousins went off on teammate Donte Greene for not passing him the ball at the end of Friday night’s loss to Oklahoma City. Greene passed it to Tyreke Evans, who wound up missing a 3-pointer that could have won the game. Depending on what version of the story you believe, what transpired after the game was downright ridiculous.
Westphal’s refusal to divulge details, to the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones, didn’t do anything to change our minds about that:
“… Obviously something happened. Obviously this is not DeMarcus’ first time with any kind of incident and there are no prior incidents with Donte’. So in our preliminary dealings with this situation we felt that it was appropriate to handle it the way we have. We want all the facts, to do all the homework and be completely fair with everybody and if there’s appropriate further action involving anybody we can take it at that time. But we don’t want to shoot first and ask questions later. We want to make sure we’re doing everything in the right order.”
Cousins reportedly went after Greene in the locker room and later on the team plane before being removed from the plane and ordered to stay in Sacramento. A resolution is expected sometime today, after Cousins meets with Kings boss Geoff Petrie, who has no choice but to drop the hammer on the rookie to make his point.
You can test the patience of an organization so many times before they decide you are not worth the trouble. There are countless cautionary tales Cousins could learn from, talented players that refused to get out of their own way on the path to stardom that wound up losing their way and landing out of the league.
Again, we’re not trying to overreact to what’s gone on with Cousins and the Kings so far this season. But these are stains on his reputation that cannot be easily washed away, no matter how well he plays. There is trouble a player can get into off the court that won’t damage his stock as severely as being a bad teammate or hard to coach.
Cousins clearly isn’t listening to many people, so we won’t hold our breath thinking he’d listen to us. But we’re hoping someone gets through to the kid.