As Kings fans, we are eternal optimists. For decades now, we have supported a perennial lottery-bound team. We have the unequivocal worst owners in all of professional sports. To the outside observer, the only thing our team has going for it is us, the beyond-passionate fans of Sacramento. This has served us well, to be sure. This is no better evidenced than the grass-roots efforts that kept the Kings here, however temporary that stay might be. We see players and coaches and cities (see ya', Virginia Beach!) come and go (with players seemingly getting better after they go), but we see very little difference in our team's performance year-after-year. But the role of the underdog is to keep believing something will change. Hell, we saw it change that one time. You know, that one time over ten years ago? (Petrie, we are looking at you.)
In any event, the point is, we want to believe. First and foremost, we want to believe the Kings are staying. Next, we want to believe the Maloofs are selling (yes, in that order). And coming into this season, we wanted to believe that this team was going to be better. We didn't care how much better, necessarily. Just "better" and we'd be happy. We knew it was only a matter of time before the team would "figure it out" (and other assorted cliches). After all, they are a young group with a ton of individual talent, right? And we have this new cornerstone franchise big man, DMC, and those kinds of players don't come around too often (so we've been told). Shoot, even the real basketball experts said so. Once he grows up mentally, the sky's the limit for this team. I mean, the guy is only 22!
But what if, aside from all of his well-documented "issues", Cousins isn't really that great from an NBA standpoint?
Of course, it's near-impossible to talk about DMC without mentioning his attitude. But, as Kings fans, we tried to spin his perceived bad attitude as a positive. Remember the spins we put on him:
He's just young and misunderstood.
We just need to channel his energy in the right direction. (seriously?!)
He's just competitive! (This is my personal favorite of stating absolutely nothing as an argumentative response to DMC's repeated idiocy - we might as well just say, "that's just DMC being DMC". Much like when people at work tell me "it is what is is"...sigh.)
Westphal and Colangelo and Donte and Elliot and Mayo (to name a few) - they were all just plain wrong. And even if they were right, screw it, because when DMC brings it, he's a beast, goddamn it. More so, he's OUR beast. We are just trying to get him to understand the bigger picture. Now, of course, the sentiment towards him has changed dramatically. We do not know exactly what transpired at halftime against the Clippers, but we do know that it had to be fairly awful to have Smart, seemingly the most patient of all DMC supporters, past and present, play a significant disciplinary card. Even more impressive was DMC's unprecedented contriteness. These are clues as to the depths of the unknown details.
I know that the fans herein are, for the most part, some of the more knowledgeable basketball fans in the country. Many of us played at higher-competitive levels and can see obvious strengths and weaknesses of players and lineups/rotations (e.g. I like to think a lot of us question why Jimmer and Tyreke are rarely our two guards at the same time, for crying out loud - but that is a topic for another time). Now, I would like to think that, after 2 1/3 years of watching DMC, we could objectively analyze his strengths and weaknesses on the floor. I know that a lot (or arguably inordinate) amount of time is spent evaluating newfangled player efficiency ratings. For this exercise, I don't want to look too much at DMC's stats. Let's talk in terms of our scouting report (i.e. what would be written down on your clipboard were you evaluating him as a prospective roster addition). So, with that in mind, this is my humble take on his play (NOT his attitude, though surely one's attitude can affect one's play):
To be fair, here are some general things that DMC does well (again, in my not-so-expert opinion):
(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)