The Sacramento Kings have obviously not been the same since the team fired head coach Michael Malone. The performance on the floor has been poor, the defense has disappeared, and the team often appears listless. It's been known that the firing caught the team by surprise, and disrupted the team's balance. Following Monday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets, DeMarcus Cousins made some comments that made it abundantly clear that the disruption is impacting the team.
DMC: "When you go through situations like this, and games get tough, you start to see people’s true colors."— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) December 30, 2014
DMC: "You’re going to see who’s really in, and who’s really not."— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) December 30, 2014
DMC: "So, bad as this may seem, it’s also a good thing b/c you’re going to know who’s ready to go to battle with you every night."— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) December 30, 2014
DMC on whether it would be better to find out NOW who is going to battle with him: "Absolutely. Let me know now."— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) December 30, 2014
DMC’s comments to media post game about seeing people’s true colors when fighting thru adversity speaks volumes about where this team is now— Kayte Christensen (@kayte_c) December 30, 2014
It's easy to see these comments as a major issue relating to Cousins, as our own Blake Ellington does:
With both his comments and demeanor DeMarcus Cousins doesn't appear to be happy anymore. That is a problem ladies and gentlemen.— Blake Ellington (@BlakeEllington) December 30, 2014
But personally, with all due respect to my friend Blake, I'm choosing to view this as a possible positive. The Kings aspire to build a championship contender. The road to a title is full of pitfalls and tough times. While you never want to purposefully disrupt team chemistry, the current situation allows the Kings to see who is in it for the long haul, and who was simply willing to play nice when things were going well. We'll probably never know for sure who is "showing their true colors" right now, in a positive or a negative way, but I have my guesses on both sides.
Loyalty is of the utmost importance to DeMarcus Cousins. Abruptly firing Malone could obvious create a sense of distrust of management, which would be an issue. But in the meantime, Cousins can see who is loyal to the team, to him, to putting in the work. That could prove just as important in the long run for this team. Show Cousins that you're surrounding him with teammates he can trust, and you afford him another level of comfort.
Of course, it'd sure be nice to win a couple games on this road trip.