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DeMarcus Cousins Deserves Better Treatment From USA Basketball

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Feb 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Kings 86-84. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Kings 86-84. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

I'm not mad that DeMarcus Cousins didn't make Team USA. I'm mad that Jerry Colangelo, the boss of USA Basketball, decided to carelessly, thoughtlessly critique a player and person he apparently knows nothing about. I get into it in The Hook today.

This is going to be an unending struggle for Boogie and his fans. When a columnist trots out a tired "red flagz!" narrative, it's almost expected at this point. When one of the most powerful men in American basketball does it without once having spoken to Cousins and after watching exactly two days of practice, it's depressing. What hope can we have for the wide world of sports punditry if Jerry Colangelo can't be bothered to look deeper than the hype?

Of course, a struggle implies counterbalance, pushback. One of the things I love most about Cousins (there are many) is that he is not what they call a "simp." He is not "fugazy." When he had a problem with what Jerry Colangelo said about him, he didn't sit back and complain to his people about it. He went straight to Jerry Colangelo and asked for an explanation. That's what Paul Westphal never liked, and what ultimately ended that relationship. That's what Keith Smart learned to offer -- a conversation, not dictation -- and what has helped Cousins realize his NBA potential.

We'll see if the next coach of USA Basketball (Coach K is stepping down after London) offers the same.