Hey, How About a Post About DeMarcus?

First of all, I have been very impressed with the overall comments of the membership as it pertains to this incendiary issue, regardless of which side (if either) that you may see it from. StR members at their most brilliant. Hat tip and well done.

Wow, this is getting to be like Ron Artest redux. We used to have a "Ron-Ron" section for Artest stories here. We may have to create a "Boogie Board" for Cousins.

I almost think that what we have here are two separate issues that have combined for the perfect storm. Turn back the clock to when we drafted Cousins. Here you have a franchise in turmoil in every conceivable way, virtually rudderless from a leadership standpoint due in part to the roster rebuild and exacerbated by the penny pinching ways of an organization in dire financial trouble. The coach is far from secure in his job, a result in combination of his performance and the lack of player talent that he has been presented with by the organization. His vast ego doesn't help matters, at least not in the manner that he chooses to unleash it.

Now, add a young, immature, man-child to the mix, one that has pretty much gotten his way and been catered to his entire life due to his immense physical talent (in relation to whatever talent he was playing against). A guy that had trouble with authority in college, and that was while playing for an incredibly well-funded and well-coached organization, with very talented teammates (for that level) around him - heck, the entire starting lineup was drafted in the first round! Maybe a good kid at heart, but as a basketball player he brings enough luggage with him that he is not considered a #1 prospect and ultimately falls to 5th in his draft.

I think that the only chance for success early on here was for Cousins to have a player on this roster that could kick his ass both physically and mentally. I just don't see this thing getting to this point on a Jordan or Duncan team. But generally speaking, lottery teams don't possess that type of roster talent. Generally speaking, most teams don't possess that type of roster talent, period. I am no longer convinced that the coach would make a difference - he butted heads with Calipari, so apparently he has little respect for authority, even when it comes wrapped in years and years of proven success.

So here is my fear: The Kings fire Westphal and install Keith Smart as interim coach, and it changes nothing that needs to be changed. Maybe it makes Cousins happier in the short term, but basically all you've done is given a spoiled youngster his way one more time. I feel no better if you fire Westphal and hire Phil Jackson, as it still won't work until Cousins is willing to take his own inventory, own up to his history of being a malcontent, and develop a plan to overcome it.

The more that I think about this, the more I see Zach Randolph, part II. It looks like it will take years for Cousins to "get it," and in the meantime he'll leave coaches and franchises strewn in his wake. He'll eventually arrive at a place where he becomes an NBA player and a grown up, and the next generation of Kings fan will go all Gerald Wallace over him and wonder why we ever traded him way back when.

Cousins is only 21, and I probably preach patience more than anyone else around here when it comes to player development. But there is on court and there is off court. On court DMC is still a relative babe. Off court he is an adult, and I don't know that any of us as parents or employers or co-workers would put up with a 21 year old displaying such petulant ways.

I probably could have saved everyone the long-winded read by just stating this: Whether Westphal stays or goes changes little as it pertains to the future of DeMarcus Cousins. Unless he is willing to grow up and put on his big boy pants, the Kings should just cut bait right now. His actions threaten to fracture an entire locker room, in my opinion, and the Kings can't afford to let that happen.

You could become a helluva player, DeMarcus, and every Kings fan is pulling for you. I dare say that every Kings fan would choose you over Westphal if the franchise polled the fan base to "pick one." But you've got to grow up, young man. NBA life is short and the clock is ticking, and your options are narrowing.

The ball, as they say, is in your court.

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