Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
We still don't know exactly what happened to lead the NBA to suspend DeMarcus Cousins after his ... chat with Sean Elliott. But we know two things about it.
DeMarcus Cousins got suspended by the NBA for two games for confronting Sean Elliott after the Kings' Friday loss to the Spurs. All the NBA said was that Cousins approached Elliott in a hostile manner. The only eyewitness reports that have come out said Cousins came out of the locker room in full uniform, waited for Elliott to finish the Spurs' post-game show, and spoke in an animated fashion with Elliott on the court, yelling at the former Spur as he walked away. No one has reported that Cousins threatened or touched Elliott, though again, there have been few eyewitness reports.
These are the two things we know right now.
1. DeMarcus Cousins needs to stop this stuff. Clearly, he's never ever ever ever ever going to get the benefit of the doubt. Ever. Not from his coach, not from his front office, not from the league office, not from the officials, not from the general public, not from USA Basketball, not from opponents, not from most of the media, not from anyone. Apparently, he cannot give anyone a reason to think the worst of him, because they will absolutely think the worst. If he talks back to refs, that's a tech. If he complains about something to a coach, that's a trade demand. If he takes exception to commentator criticism, that's (apparently) a suspension. Again, we don't know what Cousins said to Elliott. But we do know about those past incidents. We know the Colangelo thing was Cousins' passion being misunderstood, Colangelo basically admitted as much with the food poisoning excuse. We know the Westphal thing was ridiculous. But the results of those issues still bode poorly for Cousins, because he is not getting the benefit of the doubt.
At some point, the Che Guevara thing needs to make way for practicality. We love Boogie because he is like no other, and I don't want to see that squelched. But the Kings really can't afford losing him for two games like this. He needs to be able to perform on the court more than he needs to be vindicated.
2. How on Earth did the Kings let this happen?
First of all, who told Cousins what Elliott said? Who was watching the Spurs' broadcast or sitting next to Elliott on press row and shared that info with Boogie? I'm legitimately curious. Was it a Kings employee? If so, UMMMMM. PLEASE DON'T DO THAT. Maybe it was one of Cousins' friends or managers who was around.
Once Cousins heard what was said and headed back out to the court ... where were any Kings employees? I mean, this was at Sleep Train Arena. It's not like the Kings would have been lightly staffed as they might be on the road. If you work for the Kings' basketball operations or security detail and you see DeMarcus Cousins come back out and wait for a commentator to finish his broadcast ... why don't you get in there and stop that crap before it happens? Why don't you get someone's attention so Cousins' teammates or coaches can help? (Francisco Garcia would stop this immediately.)
If a Kings employee did get out there in the middle of it, why isn't the team saying anything? This is basically a he-said, he-said situation. The Kings haven't said anything. This is the same front office that had no problem letting Paul Westphal light Cousins up with a press release. They were quick to issue that statement. But no statement from the team on this episode. Geoff Petrie couldn't be reached for comment by Jason Jones of The Bee. Reports have said the Kings don't agree with the suspension. THEN WHERE ARE THE KINGS? Most NBA teams a) try to prevent their players from getting in trouble and b) defend their players once they are in trouble. Once again, Cousins is out there all by himself. The Kings are acting like a team that doesn't mind that DeMarcus Cousins got suspended. That makes it ridiculous that they quietly sent out suggestions they are not happy and have since done nothing to defend their player in the public eye.
This is not the first team culture issue, and it won't be the last. But it's just gross to see the team act so ... inept in all facets. Cousins can't escape blame for putting himself in a dangerous position: he did that, and he's suffering the consequences. But we need to be asking where the Hades this club's management is in all of this, too.