How Much is Too Much?

Posted by By at 14 February, at 11 : 07 AM Print

Athletes are often given a free pass to their antics because of their on-field exploits and vast potential, but when is it too much? When does it become detrimental to the team? Watching DeMarcus Cousins’ reaction to the way the Sacramento-Oklahoma State game ended last night is looking like it’s headed towards the detrimental category. It’s probably too early to tell what, if any effect it will have, but bets on it zero effect at all are probably slim to none.

Last night’s game between Sacramento and Oklahoma City ended with Tyreke Evans missing a three-pointer at the buzzer than could’ve given the Kings the victory. Cousins’ reaction was pretty much nothing short of a 3rd grade temper tantrum. Was he mad the shot missed and the Kngs lost, possibly. Was he upset that he felt he was open on the play and did not receive the ball after calling for it, possibly. Was he upset at Donte Green, who inbounded the ball to start the possession? That seems to be the overwhelming consensus right now.

For those counting at home, this would be incident #4 for the rookie who had known maturity issues before he was drafted. To recap, there was a team imposed fine by the team for a verbal dispute with a member of the training staff. Then there was being tossed out of practice for talking back to coach Westphal, who by all accounts, seems be one of the most well-liked coaches in the league by players he’s coached. Then, there was the infamous choke sign against the Warriors.

No one questions his talent when he’s on the floor and focused. It seemed like he had actually started to turn the corner after the incident against the Warriors. Since that game on December 21st he’s  averaged 16pts and 8.7 boards while playing every game. In fact, tonight will be the first game he’s missed this season. At this point the Kings aren’t officially calling it a suspension, but for all intents and purposes that’s what it is.  One now has to wonder is this the first of many “suspensions” for Cousins or will this sound the alarm bell?

Putting maturity issues aside and looking purely from a basketball perspective, he and Tyreke Evans could make a pretty solid inside-outside combination to build a team around. Evans is a nightly triple double threat and Cousins could greatly benefit from the many double teams he receives. On the flip side, his developing post game, and much improved passing out of double teams could give Evans open looks on the perimeter. Sounds good right? My guess would be that’s what general manager Geoff Petrie envisioned when he decided to select Cousins with the 5th pick in last year’s draft.

He’s only 20 years old so I guess you can chalk part of it up to that. Questions about is maturity are nothing new and on many pre-draft scouting reports so the Kings new what they were getting. But that “potential” word once again won out. The lack of a strong veteran presence in the locker room could be a great asset, if the Kings had that. Samuel Dalembert is the team’s elder statesmen with 9 years in the league but isn’t really the vocal leader type. No one’s ready to write off his career yet and I’m certainly not either, but this is definitely a situation worth monitoring. Younger teams are more susceptible to repeated incidents like these causing a divided locker room which could give potentially give Paul Westphal and Geoff Petrie a tough choice to make should they continue.

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3 Comments

  1. Tony, 9 years ago Reply

    Nice article on Cousins….I like that you referenced his age because we still need to keep in mind he was a teenager just last year. That being said, I don’t agree or condone what’s happening, but I do think we need some perspective when dealing with these very young guys. I try to manage and develop young guys like this all the time in the business world and I see a lot of the same immaturity and sometimes it goes deeper than maturity level but hopefully that’s not the case with Cousins as his potential is through the roof.

    • LakerDude, 9 years ago Reply

      There was no excuse for Cousins behavioral issues…And I am assuming this article was written before details came out regarding Cousins vs Greene in the locker room.

      There is no excuse for this crap…He is still a professional regardless of his age!!!! Grow up Cousin…bad news for the Kings…not the type of player to build around…..

  2. Alan Lee, 9 years ago Reply

    Cousins is a bitch !


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