Taming the Beast


DeMarcus Cousins has a soft side and the Kings need to find it.

It’s no news that we are in a new era of the NBA but one player is pushing the limits in a negative way.

DeMarcus Cousins was picked fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings despite his abrasive behavior in the past.

Supposedly, the rookie learned his lesson in Kentucky with John Calipari who essentially commanded Cousins to enter the draft and subsequently become another coach’s headache.  Calipari had to pretty much hold his hand at the draft to show that he was a “good kid.”

By November, Paul Westphal was already disciplining Cousins after a verbal altercation with the team’s strength and conditioning coach.  He was taken out of the starting lineup for one game after making a choking gesture at Golden State guard Reggie Williams.

Now, the team’s president of basketball operations, Geoff Petrie, has handed Cousins a fine for fighting with Donte Greene after a 99-97 loss at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Cousins wanted to take the last shot over Tyreke Evans, reigning rookie of the year.

In the wake of Jerry Sloan retiring amidst rumors of disagreements with Deron Williams and LeBron James’ Flight from Cleveland, Cousins’ behavior is nothing new in this time of player control.

Kobe Bryant showed it for years with his no-trade clause and Carmelo Anthony has been displaying it with his contract extension mess that we are STILL dealing with.

Cousins is taking it to a new level just by being a rookie that has pretty much not proven anything except that he is having a hard time adjusting.  He leads the league in personal fouls with four a game.  He is 22nd in the league in turnovers with almost three a night.  He is 239th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting .435.  He’s already gotten eight technical fouls in his career and has already gotten ejected once. He has collected five of more fouls 22 times this season.

Congratulations DeMarcus because your efforts aren’t even helping rack up W’s in Sac Town.  So far, the Kings have played San Antonio, LA, Dallas, Boston and Miami.  He is only averaging 13 points a game against these elite teams while the Kings are only 1-8 against them.  One win over the Lakers in which only two LA players had over 10 points (Bryant with 38 and Andrew Bynum with 12) isn’t what the Beef would call an impressive win.

Maybe Cousins should be more focused on playing basketball than running his mouth.

With that many fouls and that poor of a shot from the field, he is frustrated.

However, he has raw talent and muscle.  Cousins can be very punishing in the paint and has shown that he can score.  He has 12 double-doubles this season and has only scored in single digits four times in the last month and a half.  He averaged 17 points and eight rebounds in January and is doing 17 points and 11 rebounds a night so far this month.

Westphal needs to realize that they really do have a beast on their hands and it’s up to them to tame him if they want him to improve.  NBA culture lends itself to the players but that doesn’t mean that the Kings need to deal with Cousins’ attitude.  It’s up to them to turn his game around and everyone will benefit.


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Filed under 2010-11 Regular Season, NBA at Large, Players

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