For DeMarcus Cousins, every call against him is a slight to his soul. To outsiders, he is nothing more than a malcontent; to everyone that knows him, he’s just ‘Boogie’.
But getting through the walls of the man-child that is Cousins is only half the battle. Whether you believe his claims or not, Cousins will never change. “I’m not the first franchise guy to be suspended for a game,” Cousins told ESPN The Magazine. “You can call it what you want … you can say oh ‘He’s a thug.’ But I’m a competitor”. And the numbers certainly back it up.
DeMarcus is enjoying his best season as a pro, averaging 22.3 PPG and 11.6 RPG this season. The Sacramento Kings have also lost all 10 games without Cousins this year, which proves without a doubt that he is the franchise — and future in Sacramento. Fans will have to stop with the “is he really worth the stats and headache” talk, because Cousins isn’t changing.
For DeMarcus, his considerable charity work is no marketing ploy. Stepping into the world of sponsorships and commercials is not his thing either. Off the court, the right thing to do comes naturally to Cousins, but it doesn’t quite translate on the court — especially with the losses mounting as the season comes to a close for Sacramento.
DeMarcus picked up a one-game suspension for his cheap shot on Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley. Last season, Cousins confronted San Antonio Spurs color commentator Sean Elliott after he received word that Elliott bad-mouthed him during the game. He received a fine and suspension for that as well.
His dust-ups with the Los Angeles Clippers — specifically Chris Paul and Blake Griffin — are also the stuff of legend. DeMarcus takes responsibility for his actions, even though these run-ins are allegedly coordinated attacks.
Whether Cousins is a target of opposing teams and referees or just immature hinges on whether you believe he is being treated unfairly. But even as the losses pile up and the Kings’ skid toward another lottery year, Cousins isn’t in it for your approval, and anything done to change that will be seen as ‘fake and political’ as Cousins plainly puts it.
“If you judge me only by my profession, you don’t know me at all”. Cousins tells ESPN. Maybe that’s where his fans and critics will have to lay down their arms and deal with it. Maybe Cousins will never be ‘that guy’. He’ll get you double-doubles and leave you with a few migraines, but you have to at least respect his perspective. That doesn’t make him immature — it makes him a competitor. He just wants to win.