Time For The Kings To Save Themselves





HANG TIME WEST — So far in the 2012-13 season, DeMarcus Cousins has been saddled with three suspensions – two courtesy of the league, one via the team – and the reasons are getting more mundane. A player arguing with a coach is a basic misdeed that happens a lot in this league, although not usually on such a public stage as the Staples Center sideline, and is garden-variety histrionics compared to leaving the locker room in uniform after a game to return to the court to confront Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott or the time Cousins asked Dallas’ O.J. Mayo to turn his head and cough.

That will have to do for progress, though, and welcome for the real sign of trouble for the Kings.

It is not that Cousins is still having problem harnessing his emotions. That is so yesterday. It’s that Cousins is getting worse.

Well into his third season, time enough for any player to have grasped how to carry himself as a professional, even a player still just 22, the behavior of the centerpiece of the Kings’ foundation is regressing. That it comes at the same time his play is also backsliding compounds the concern, but that’s nothing compared to the greater worry: Cousins is becoming more turbulent the longer his career goes, when it should be the other way around.

The two-day suspension that ended Monday with his reinstatement in the wake of the shouting match with coach Keith Smart on Friday in Los Angeles will be viewed by some as the Kings taking a hard line. That’s a natural read. What should not be overlooked is that this was also, and probably more, about the Kings taking care of the Kings.

While youth has been oversold as a reason for life in the cellar, they do have two lottery picks in their first or second season (Thomas Robinson and Jimmer Fredette) and a second-year player is in the rotation (Isaiah Thomas). That’s a lot of investments by the organization and that’s a lot of developing NBA minds being shaped by what swirls around them. Management has to deal with this to save an entire locker room, not to save Cousins.

This is when it stopped being about Cousins and started being about the possibility other people are being affected. Or infected.

Cousins’ actions can no longer be explained away as rampaging immaturity and people can no longer naïvely write off his improvements last season to that horrible, horrible Paul Westphal being fired as coach and Smart bonding with Cousins after taking over. It was never about Westphal. It was about Cousins bothering to get in shape a month after training camp opened. Yeah, Westphal was obviously holding Cousins back.

Immaturity is showing up at the pre-Draft camp in Chicago in poor shape when Cousins knew as well as anyone his attitude was the real question. Youth is reporting to his first Kings camp at less than 100 percent. Giving him every benefit of the doubt, immaturity may even have been arriving for the start of the 2011-12 season, with the chance for a fresh start, in sloppy condition.

The last five or six months have been a real ride for Cousins.

Team USA invited Cousins to be on the Select team, a group of young players who would work against the stars headed to the Olympics later in the summer. If there ever was a time to show up, be ready, tape a smile on his face and not say anything other than “Yes,” “No,” “Please” and “Thank you,” this was it. A positive review from Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski would have been image changing. Instead, Colangelo publicly dinged Cousins’ bad attitude.

Trying to spark a confrontation with Elliott — earning a two-game suspension from the NBA — was the worst sign of all that Cousins is not close to being able to control himself. Striking Mayo in the groin cost Cousins another game from the league, though the action did little to surprise the many opponents who already considered him a cheap-shot artist.

And now this. Cousins did well to publicly apologize to Smart immediately after the game against the Clippers, something positive that came out of it, but the Kings obviously understood things had gone too far. They need to try, again, to find a way to get Cousins on a path to reach his All-Star potential. But they need to worry about the young players he could influence. The Kings need to save themselves.

55 Comments

  1. unb1nd says:

    GErald Wallace Krsi Humpries…For D cousin.

  2. unb1nd says:

    NENE for COusins……..

  3. gilmour939 says:

    I think Boston should grab him because he can really help out Kevin Garnett. With Doc Rivers and the Veterens around Cousins they can help him get his act together.

  4. Elyse Wood says:

    Cousins is very immature & does not represent the image the league is trying to uphold. It’s one thing to disagree with a coach’s decisions but to publicly argue or go after your coach is very unprofessional . He needs to grow up & instead of making a spectacle of himself, get them stats up. The league needs to impose stiffer fines if he doesn’t straighten up.

  5. Knixfan says:

    Trade COUSINS with whoever is willing to provide a future 1st round draft picks.

  6. Kevin says:

    all these trade talks, any body considered why any team would want to trade for him? The Kings might have to give him away, nobody is trading for this fool!

  7. #Kingsallday says:

    Trade Cousins, salmons and brooks to the bobcats for biyombo, tyrus thomas, and Jeffrey Taylor. Then sign maybe Bibby to add a veteran! The Kings need to make a change

  8. waltwilliams55 says:

    i like the fanboys saying trade cousins to whatever team but not thinking about the return, what do the kings get?

  9. Burton says:

    trade cousins for gasol! get a tough guy

  10. Trade him to the Celtics Doc, KG, and Pierce will take care of him they could use him too.

  11. David says:

    Trade Fab, Joseph, two first round picks and maybe Courtney or Wilcox and bring him to Boston.

  12. Dan says:

    He’s a perfect fit for the Mavs or the Celtics

  13. TroubleSeyd says:

    Trade him for Amar’e and Steve Novak

  14. Benjamin says:

    how about a trade to Atlanta? Hawks have always needed to fill in the center position and move Al Horford down to power forward position. The main question is could Atlanta be willing to give anything away? they are pretty contempt with their back court of Smith and Horford.

  15. wadeallday says:

    Na Sacramento won’t just give him up for nothing. They would want a superstar, or a young player to build around, since Cousins is just 22, and their centerpiece. The best deal for the kings is trade him for Eric Gordon, but then again, Sacramento’s roster would be stacked with guards. So trade him to the Jazz for Big Al and Kanter.

  16. Peter says:

    the player could be someone like calderon. the kings need a veternen presence and toronto already has budding lowry.

  17. Peter says:

    as crazy as it sounds, what about a trade to toronto. bargnani and cousins both need fresh starts. bargnani, player, plus 1st round pick for cousins and a second round pick perhaps? not exactly sure how it would fit with salary cap and stuff, but just an opinion.

  18. aaaaaa says:

    He needs to go to a team like the Celtics or the Spurs. Both are known for getting young talent to stay focused and reach their potential. I don’t think the Celtics have enough trade value to get him, and the Spurs probably don’t want him, but I’m just saying that’s the kind of team he needs.

  19. Andrew says:

    Whether they should trade him or not shouldn’t be the question. The question should be whether or not another team should take the risk of acquiring him.

  20. nba addict says:

    dont bother.. no one wants him anyways.. lol

  21. ben says:

    i think he should go to the celtics. he will be respected as a winning player and gets to gain knowledge from veteran players like pierce and garnett that he never had with the kings. i also think having a respectable coach like rivers helps his basketball iq and will boost his attitude to a respectible level.

  22. Unkle Daddy says:

    I know they are a young team, but the Kings rebuilding process has just not gone like it should have. I think it’s time to find a new home for Tyreke Evans, one where he can maybe be a leader on the court, but not have to be a leader off the court. To me he is a young Joe Johnson, a good secondary player (solid) but not a leader of a team to be looked to for guidance. DeMarcus Cousins is another story, he needs to go someplace and play for a couch like Popovich, George Karl or Avery Johnson, someone who does not play games and will set him straight.

  23. DLS says:

    Please go to Mavs. Since you and carlisle have a complete private conversation and maybe he can improve you as a player. And mavs need someone with Dirk inside.

  24. Owen says:

    The Kings is a basketball organization… They’re there to play not to BABYSIT!

  25. mavs fan says:

    get traded to dallas!!! they need rebounders

  26. ray says:

    The boy needs to grow up and start acting like the franchise centerpiece that he should be. The lack of veteran experience around to guide him isn’t helping the Kings situation. It’s no longer a case of the Kings could trade in some veteran experience in attempt to handle him, that time is past. Cousins must be traded into an environment where he is a junior member of the squad and be controlled from the start until he has matured. Kobe, Nash and the Lakers would be an ideal environment as well as KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and the Celtics.

    The Kings need to take what they can and not hold him to ransom because unfortunately he has the potential of Kwame Brown if his maturity doesn’t take an upwards curve in the near future.

  27. Ariel says:

    He can be traded to Miami heat hehehe

  28. Dying NBA fan says:

    Waive that spoiled rich kid, maybe then he’ll grow up.

  29. mehmet says:

    I don’t think it is fair to claim that Sacramento should be trading Cousins. Last year NBA.com did the same thing on Howard trade. These claims provoke the fans, even players against the mentioned players. What I wonder is; can NBA.com claim that LAL should be trading Gasol because he does not fit the system? Or LAL should be trading Howard because his ego is too big to play with Kobe? Only small market team players are being targeted at NBA:com. This is not fair.

  30. Anthony says:

    Get him to Dallas or Washington back with WALL

  31. Jose (Clipper Nation) says:

    DeMarcus Cousins needs to grow up. A real man takes a critism and grows with it. Not have a tantrum and get into peoples faces like a child who really doesn’t know better. A child has an excuse whats your DeMarcus Cousins?

  32. legend says:

    some players just don’t fit into the nba. trade cousins to china!!!

  33. j says:

    why would cavs trade varejeo, hes having the best season of his career

  34. gary says:

    any team who would give more than a sack of dirty sweat socks is desperate. He is a loser playing for a perennial loser

  35. Freida says:

    I want him to be traded to the Miami Heat. I think Cousins wants to be on a team that makes a playoff.

  36. Justin says:

    wait until his contract expires since they can’t get anything equal in trade value, offer him some small deal to set a precedent for the league so that whatever team he plays for is paying him minimum and humble him a bit. Cousins is useless. Hope he blows a knee. Why do the respectable good players always get hurt?

  37. Gundy says:

    All you got to do is watch that fast-break dunk on Danny Green. Anyone who tries to step in front of that better save themselves.

  38. tar says:

    trade him to the Cavs for Varejao and a pick?

    Kings get the opposite of cousins. Varejao would change their lockerroom/hustle for the best.

    Cavs get a young center to pair with Irving and Waiters.
    not winning now anyways why not take the risk.

  39. cnici says:

    perkins, lamb and pj3 for cousins and jimmer. Brooks will sort him out. He would just have to shoot less. rebound more .

    • Lakersfan4gud says:

      Are you kidding me? Im not a thunder fan but perkins is better fit in oklahoma and thiers no way they’ll start over with this troubled guy (Cousin). Dallas or perhaps Washington might take a chance or maybe Toronto. But the again, its just my oppinion.

  40. I for one never agreed w/ the whole immature thing, he should have appreciated making it to the nba to begin with, you know out of the thousands that don’t get that far, COMON MAN!!! What he has is a lack of respect, no discipline!!! For coming to the Celts, not so sure i agree w/ that? Maybe?-????Would he follow the professional attitude of Celts, Spurs, or any team period. Making them millions should be enough for him to be greatfull!!! TELL HIM TO TAKE A LOOK @ THE FACT THAT THERE ARE MILLIONS OF HUNGRY & HOMELESS CHILDREN IN USA & AROUND THE WORLD THEN LOOK IN THE MIRROR!!!!

  41. Kamote says:

    trade Cousins for Bynum LOL

  42. Bok says:

    Celtics, let’s see how really tough he is with KG, Pierce and Rivers. And trade Evans to the Lakers he’s a natural PG let him play his game.

  43. Chase says:

    Moving him would be the best possible outcome. No matter how much potential he has, the kings can’t keep dealing with him and plan on becoming a respected franchise again in the league. They need to move him and move on.

  44. rondo says:

    he should get traded to the celtics so they have every position filled in.

  45. Willy says:

    He has attacked Sean Elliot, do you really think the Spurs want him? Come on man! They don’t choose idiots to be on their team. Can you imagine what this guy is like off the court and out of the building? Trade him to Detroit, the beginning of the new BADBOYS!

  46. rondo says:

    I want him to get traded to the celts so they have a real center. Go celtics!

  47. waltwilliams55 says:

    As a kings fan, who do you suggest they trade for or what?

  48. Nba fab says:

    He can save the rebounding woes of dallas mavericks. Time for a trade i guess.

  49. amitpal says:

    I think its time for kings to move on. The kings have zero veteran present and therefor will never be able to change cousins. They will never get his equal value either cuz lets face it nobody wants his attitude around. I think a veteran team like spurs or boston should get him and see if they can break through with him. Only strong veterans and leader like duncan and popvich or Garnett and rivers have a chance of getting through this kids thick head.

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  51. AnnoYouLater says:

    i think he wont change or gona take him sooooo long to change if he stay in sacramento…i think the wise thing to do is to trade him, if they force it to work they would just end up hurting each other like whats happening right now…he need a good and well respected coach like Greg Pop and G.Karl

    • G says:

      I think he needs to realize how fortunate he is with his given talents and just give it all he has. It does not matter who the coach is, if the person in question does not see for himself that his attitude is the problem. Perhaps they should have him work a real job for some time, maybe that will wake him up! Otherwise have him talk to Tim Duncan, a better example is hardly thinkable.