Outside of a few communities, namely Sacramento, Lexington and Alabama – Kings star DeMarcus Cousins can do no right. He’s immature. He’s a cancer. He’s everything that’s wrong with the NBA. He’s a coach killer. He doesn’t respect the opposition. Anything and everything you could bash a player for, Cousins has had thrown his way in the past few years. That’s not to say he’s been an angel and the picture of maturity at all times – but for anybody that follows the young big man or his teams, the media and thus, general fan perception of the Mobile native is completely fabricated.
The media needs a villain. They’ll stab you in the back, only to welcome you with open arms and vice versa. Make no mistake – DeMarcus Cousins has never found himself on the wrong side of a drug charge. DeMarcus Cousins has never found himself in a courtroom. He’s thrown a couple cheap elbows – he’s had arguments with a coach known for his inability to deal with players – he’s mocked the opposition. Essentially, he’s the perfect 1980′s big man. But in the new NBA – full of handshakes and hugs, he’s a problem to most. He scowls. He gripes at officials. He’s an awful person because major media says so.
Sadly, those that feel that way about Cousins never put forth the effort to see what a kind heart his 6’11 frame holds. There was never a story on ESPN about DeMarcus playing Santa to local children. There was no front page article when Cousins sent game used memorabilia and money for disaster relief from the destructive tornadoes in Alabama. Few media outlets pick up on the amount of time Cousins spends at local children hospitals.
Take for example something so simple that happened recently at the University of Kentucky alumni game, captured by Ally Tucker. A young boy and his father, hoping to potentially get an autograph from Cousins, weren’t as well versed in the art of rushing the court to meet the players as most. They quickly became passed up and their lone hope was to maybe get to the back of the line and hope there was enough time to get a scribble of DeMarcus’ name before the players had to go. The young boy, now perched on his fathers shoulders caught Cousins eye though and the former Wildcat could see what went down. Never one to miss the opportunity to make another smile, Cousins removed his shoe – signed it – and then quickly hopped over the scorer’s table, rushing up to the father and the little boy:
“Here you go, little man.”
That’s all it took and now Patrick says his son is completely enamored with DeMarcus Cousins and couldn’t stop talking about the shoe. Cousins made a huge impression on young Tate, who will now have this positive memory to associate with his Kentucky basketball fandom.
Tate went home that night and when it was time for bed, he didn’t grab a stuffed animal or a blanket or anything else that a young child usually saddles up with to sleep. Instead, Tate grabbed DeMarcus’ shoe. He wasn’t ready to let go of the shoe that is bigger than his own head. The big shoe that Cousins went out of his way to make sure Tate received on Saturday, has made for an even bigger hero in Tate’s life.
The reports from the game capture countless attendees all saying the same – how Cousins went out of his way to make sure everybody left with a smile. How he made sure to give every kid he could a high five. How he did his best to get every child an autograph.
Yeah. He’s such a bad guy, major media. Keep spewing the nonsense to the sheep – we’ll just enjoy Cousins and his heart of gold.