DeMarcus Cousins has always had character issues. In high school, for no apparent reason, he decided to fight a baseball coach who also happened to be a bus driver for the school. Just last season as a pro with the Sacramento Kings, he got into an altercation with forward Donte Green. He’s always had disagreements with his coaches, from John Calipari to even his former high school basketball coach and now Kings assistant coach Otis Hughley, who Cousins says he clashed heads with at times, but at the end of the day they always found a way to win.
Let’s face it; DeMarcus Cousins is a hot head. He has major attitude problems that need fixing if he wants to ensure his success in the league for the future. If he doesn’t improve, when he gets older and there’s younger options that can play his position, nobody is going to want to have to deal with a guy with such an over bloated ego no matter how much talent he may have (Case in point: Terrell Owens). He needs to face reality and even seek counseling if possible from a pastor or even a psychologist, as exorbitant as it sounds.
But, while you have DeMarcus Cousins on your squad averaging 15 points and 9 rebounds a game, no matter how much of a pain in the butt he can be, work with him and don’t trade him. The Kings have denied that they are even considering trading Cousins, but we all know that if the right offer comes through the Maloof’s desk he’ll be on the first flight out of Sacramento International Airport.
It may sound absurd to encourage the Kings to work with someone who has given Paul Westphal nothing but hell despite all the accommodations they have made for him such as bringing in Mr. Hughley; but the franchise has absolutely nothing to lose. Why consider breaking up the young core of Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Donte Green and new additions J.J. Hickson and Jimmer Fredette when despite their record, they’re going to have a whole year to grow and mesh together.
Cousins and the Kings need to remember the fact that they are a young growing squad. They should still play as competitively as possible but with teams like the Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Warriors and Jazz lurking for the number 8 spot, the playoffs seem unlikely for this team this season. Because of this predicament, experience and chemistry together is definitely going to be critical to acquire now. Next year this team is going to have brighter lights to face because of their move to a new arena in Sacramento or Los Angeles. If they can get used to each other’s skill sets now, it’ll be way easier to vie for a playoff spot and energize their fanbase next year when they become the talk of the league.
There are many athletes in the high school and college level like Mr. Cousins who are watching this situation as avid NBA fans but could eventually be striving for the NBA spotlight. They probably have a lot of talent and can be beneficial for any of the 32 franchises in the league but they may have character issues themselves. I commend the Kings for their actions of suspending him and not immediately giving him his starting role back, but I encourage the Maloofs and Mr. Westphal to make this even more of a teachable moment for those young athletes who are watching that we aren’t going to give up on you but you’re going to face the consequences that come with any wrong actions that you make.
Whatever it takes, I plead with the Kings to not trade DeMarcus Cousins no matter how much he begs and no matter how good the offers may get. Force him to take his team on his back so that they can win more games instead of taking the easy way out and being traded to a contender because as a #5 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, that’s what he was brought to the River City to do. Hard work always prevails, and it will prevail in this situation if Cousins works harder and buys into the system in place. Despite how many heads he’s going to continue to clash with because it’s inevitable and it’s part of sports, he’s eventually going to need to find a way to win because at the end of the day winning is all that matters.
Jessie Karangu is an 18-year-old Kenyan-American who reps for his hometown of Baltimore, MD. He is a freshman at Salisbury University and he hosts his own radio show online and on campus. He also is an avid blogger and used to intern for BET Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @BeBreezyMan and @thejmanproject and check out his main blog at http://thejmanproject.wordpress.com and his sports blog http://sportsfanbaltimore.blogspot.com. Be breezy.