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In DeMarcus Cousins’ spat with the Sacramento Bee, both sides are in the wrong

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Cousins is in the headlines after confronting Sacramento Bee reporter Andy Furillo in response to a column Furillo wrote about the recent incident in New York involving Cousins and Matt Barnes. In the column, Furillo references an incident this summer in which Cousins’ brother had an altercation at a club. Cousins was present for the incident. In a video from the Bee, Cousins is seen confronting Furillo, and profanely telling Furillo not to discuss his family.

The video, as well as an editorial from the Bee’s Joyce Terhaar, can be found here.

This is a story with no heroes. Cousins is standing up for his little brother, the Bee is exercising their rights as reporters to be critical. But make no mistake, both sides are handling their business wrong.

Let’s start with Boogie. He confronted Furillo in an unprofessional manner, and he’s likely to be reprimanded by the league for his actions. That is appropriate. Much like when he’s playing for the Kings, we understand Boogie’s complaints but he allows his emotions to take over and deals with his frustration in a way the hurts the team and himself. Boogie needs to handle situations with the media better.

That said, Andy Furillo has long had it out for DeMarcus Cousins. He’s compared Cousins to a cancer in need of a scalpel. In the article in question, he blames Cousins and Barnes for going to bar that had bad Yelp reviews. Of course! A Yelp review about long bathroom lines should have certainly tipped them off that they were sure to find trouble!

But to read Terhaar’s editorial, you’d think Furillo was the last brave journalist in this world. It’s a laughably bad editorial, which includes testimonials from Ailene Voison, who has attacked Cousins often and has had him refuse to answer her questions as a result. The Bee, simply put, wants to attack Cousins without consequence. They’re happy to get clicks and ad revenue from writing about him and the problems they have with his attitude, but they don’t think they should be shunned by the player afterwards.

NBA players are required to do media availability, as Terhaar points out. And sure, the spirit of that rule is that players will speak with media and media will have quotes for their articles. But when those quotes are going to be taken and turned against a player, there’s nothing in the rules that says Cousins has to answer questions from every reporter.

Several reporters have found ways to be critical of Cousins without it souring a relationship. This includes the Bee’s own Jason Jones, among others. They have a relationship with Cousins that allows them to be critical, because Cousins knows those reporters will be fair to him. They aren’t pushing an agenda against Cousins, so he doesn’t lash out at them when they are critical.

DeMarcus Cousins was wrong in his handling of this. The Bee was wrong to allow such a terrible article from Furillo to see the light of day. The Bee doubled down by publishing a very stupid editorial. There are no heroes in this situation. Only losers. Who was more wrong? You’ll likely side with the Bee if you don’t care for Cousins, and you’ll side with Cousins is you dislike the Bee.

The real losers here are the fans. Instead of focusing on a solid win in Memphis, the Kings are back in the headlines as a joke. Our superstar and our local media are bickering, and they’ve taken it public. It’s pathetic. I’m tired of dealing with these types of stories.

The Kings need to reign Cousins in. The team should also put the Bee on notice. They’ve threatened access for other outlets for far less in the past. Most of all, all parties involved need to grow up so we can move on.

Update:

I regret saying the Kings should threaten the Bee’s access. The flaws of this statement have been pointed out to me by multiple people, and I realize it was a mistake. I should have said that the Kings need to reign in Cousins, and that the Bee’s editorial staff needs to demand better from its writers.