The Sacramento Kings have managed to rack up some quality wins this season. Sacramento beaten the Miami Heat in December and recently won against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Houston Rockets, however, weren’t having any of that. The Rockets had no problems whatsoever in scoring 42 first-quarter points while James Harden easily dropped 43 which is well above his average.
Harden scored 18 of the Rockets’ points for a seven-minute stretch as Houston cruised to a 129-102 blowout victory in Sacramento. But after the game the focus was on a certain big man with a penchant for getting into trouble.
That’s because DeMarcus Cousins was involved in yet another eyebrow-raising moment that eventually led to an ejection. The trouble began when Cousins was whistled for a ticky-tack foul on Dwight Howard midway through the third quarter. Cousins visibly objected to the call and mouthed something — he must have to have been assessed a technical — then was quickly teed up again by Courtney Kirkland and ejected for arguing.
The mercurial star was so livid that he had to be restrained by multiple teammates and assistant coach Corliss Williamson. With 15 technical fouls on the season, Cousins will be suspended for one game with his next assessed technical. Since the Kings aren’t in contention for the playoffs, the suspension won’t hinder the team’s postseason prospects. But the problem here is not that Cousins got two fouls, it’s that we’ve seen this far too many times.
Disappointed with the way I acted out on the court tonight. I want to apologize and say sorry to my team and the fans for letting them down
— demarcus cousins (@boogiecousins) February 26, 2014
Even with all the mentoring by Shaq and the backing of the front office that signed him to a max deal, Cousins is adding fuel to the fire of those who say he’s a baby and a hothead. And they would be right.
What Cousins did with this latest dust-up is proof that maybe the front office shouldn’t have gone all in on a new deal. But there’s no way around it; the Kings are now in it for the long haul with Cousins’ contract. They knew what they were getting here and now must deal with the antics. For better or worse, Cousins is Sacramento’s problem to deal with.
Much like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Yasiel Puig, the Kings must figure out a way to rein their young star in before he plays his way out of town. Cousins can be misunderstood at times, but that doesn’t excuse the outburst or having to be held back by teammates to prevent him from berating an NBA referee. It’s got to stop somewhere.
I’ve always gone back and forth on whether the Kings should keep Cousins in the first place. For me it’s not worth the constant headaches and I don’t have the patience. Cousins’ talent has never been in question. It has always been centered on Cousins’ critical thinking. When will he learn? Will he learn at all? I wonder how long the front office will put up with it.