The uber-talented power forward has been a near relentless source of stress for Sacramento’s management. Whether he’s mouthing off (a bit out of turn) to a broadcaster or hitting guys were it hurts, Cousins has been using up his already shortened supply of the Kings’ patience.
This isn’t a new topic. We’ve read, written, and talked about how Cousins needs to get his act together. The consensus is that he’s too damn talented to be wasting his energy on tantrums. These facts, opined on ad nauseum, are relevant in that their still, well, relevant.
For one reason or the other, Cousins is still pouting around when he should carrying this team. The Kings aren’t a mid major that needs him to contend. They’re a limping bunch, Sacramento. Drifting along the bottom rung of the NBA, the Kings’ organization come across as a disheveled house. Cousins is its stained glass ceiling, through which it seems the Kings can just ignore the heat of the sun.
They’ve suspended Cousins and they’ve fined him on occasion. Clearly, it’s not enough.
The issue with how the Kings are handling Cousins’ development seems to be that they just can’t get him to calm the hell down. This guy has got the talent to turn a team’s fortunes for the better. Instead of letting Cousins know that his development as a player is on the line, the Kings seem content with just allowing him to carry on. Just slap him on the wrist a couple of times, he’ll eventually get it, right?
At this point, that’s looking more and more unlikely. There’s a look on Cousins’ face nowadays. It started showing in isolated moments last season, but is becoming more evident this year. He’s got a look of apathy on his face, a palpable disinterest.
And what do the Kings do when a coach decided to take his player head on? Fire him, of course. The fact that someone was actually letting Cousins know that he was flat out wrong for being so childish was only a precarious beginning to something healthy for the Kings’ all star. It’s not a stretch to suggest that that would be the first (and likely last) time that a coach had essentially told Cousins that he was full of crap.
What’s the fear exactly? That Cousins will demand to be traded? Something tells me the market for 6’10″ of baggage and a temper isn’t so hot.
And then there’s Sacramento’s investment in drafting Thomas Robinson. Yes, there’s the idea that another big man like Robinson means that the front court is solidified. Why not supply Sacramento’s fledgling offense with, say, a PG in Damian Lillard instead? Maybe the Kings are looking to light some subtle fire under Cousins, because playing him at Center can’t be what the Kings had in mind.
Drop the subtle messages (they’re not worth lottery picks) and tell your star to fall in line.
The Sacramento Bee’s Tom Couzens put it best:
“If you were one of our 14-year-old twins, we’d take away your laptop, Xbox 360, cellphone and 3DS and make you do yard work every day until you changed your act.”–Via the Sacramento Bee.
Mohamed Abdihakim is a journalism student at Florida Atlantic University. He is a Phoenix Suns fan, who is not prepared for the possibility of Nash winning a title in a Lakers jersey. Mohamed is also a contributor at “Les Snobs”. Interests include International basketball, Mad Men, and blues music. Nearly all stats are credited to Hoopdata or Basketball-Reference.
Twitter handle: @Abdi_hakim