And you thought all the drama was happening in Los Angeles!
The immensely talented, but troubled center, Demarcus Cousins has been suspended indefinitely after his latest fight with Sacramento King’s Head Coach Keith Smart for conduct detrimental to the team. Cousins and Smart had a heated exchange Friday night during halftime of the Kings-Clippers game. Smart then benched Cousins for the second half of the game and the Kings ultimately lost the game 97-85.
“We’re trying to set a standard here, and when guys move below that standard, things are going to take place,” Smart said after the game in Los Angeles. “We’ll just move on to the next game and I’ll make some decisions from there.”
Since entering the league in 2010, Cousin’s has had flashes of brilliant play mixed with a string of incidents linked to a volatile temper and immaturity. Following a loss at San Antonio on Nov. 9th, the league suspended Cousins two games without pay for confronting Spurs announcer Sean Elliott in a “hostile manner; during a loss to Dallas on December 10th, Cousins was suspended for one game by the NBA for striking O.J. Mayo in the groin. Do you see a trend here JGS Fam?
Cousins has not limited his outbursts to fellow players but has spread the love to referees and coaches, namely former King’s head coach Paul Westphal with whom he had a tumultuous and difficult relationship that eventually led to Westphal’s firing.
It’s a smart move, no pun intended for Kevin Smart to suspend Cousins and send a strong message that he is in control of the team and Cousins, and disrespect of his authority will not be tolerated. If Smart doesn’t get a handle on the situation and Cousins, he may be next out the door. The Kings are 8-18 and unless some drastic changes are made appear to be looking at another disappointing season.
Cousins is having a good season statically averaging a team-high 16.6 points and 9.5 rebounds to go with 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game this season, but stats aren’t everything that is needed in order to build a championship caliber team or make a player great for that matter.
Cousins appears to be remorseful and in a statement to ESPN he said, “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.”
Let’s hope Cousins gets it together and moves on down the path of maturity before he becomes a side story of a player who ‘could have’ made it.
Your Jersey Girlfriend,