By now you’ve probably heard of the mini confrontation between DeMarcus Cousins and former San Antonio Spurs player and current color commentator Sean Elliot which took place after the Spurs’ 97-86 victory in Sacramento on Friday night.
Cousins and Tim Duncan, who were battling all evening long got into it verbally late in the fourth as the Kings were doing their best to come back on the shoulders of the said Cousins, who inexplicably got away with murder on the offensive end late. After two missed offensive fouls on Cousins (which to Cousins’ credit, he converted) the Kings big man, according to Elliot, gestured to the Kings’ bench and was heard mouthing “I’m going to bust his ass” to which Elliot, who played with Duncan, took offense.
Another trip down the court and a Tim Duncan block on a Cousins shot sent Elliot into a mini on-air rant:
“That’s why some humility is in order,” Elliott said on the air. “You think you’re dominating Tim Duncan, you get it stuffed right back in your face. Timmy doesn’t like to talk trash. But if guys start talking mess to him, he’s going to respond. All that trash talking was premature. I’m not about to let these guys off the hook. Young ballclub should learn from this. Don’t start talking and flapping your gums against one of the greatest players ever. He’s going to make you pay. Tell me who got the best of this exchange.”
Cousins waited for Elliot to finish his postgame show and then confronted the former Spurs gunner as the two had an animated conversation at midcourt before parting ways, which has now lead the NBA to investigate the situation.
So where or where do I start with this?
First off – as much as I love DeMarcus, he has to be smarter than this. I don’t exactly have a problem with him confronting somebody if the scenario calls, but this wasn’t it. Even if Cousins didn’t say what Elliot said he did – ignore it or find a better way to do it. Nobody cares what Elliot has to say and the situation would’ve died down as quickly as it started, but the confrontation poured more gasoline on a fire that didn’t even need to burn. Add in the fact that it was Cousins and now it’s a another dart on his board. The only way Cousins is going to shed that sometimes undeserved (and sometimes deserved) label is by showing it with his actions, not his words.
As for Elliot – while I don’t exactly have any issue with anything he said (nor do I with Cousins), if you’re going to open your mouth – what you say is open for criticism, be it from DeMarcus or somebody else. Elliot is a clear homer in the situation (which is well within his right), but if Elliot is going to act like he never went at it with a player during his career he’s selling a bridge without water.
In the heat of the moment, players, especially emotional players like Cousins, get caught up. It’s how they play and that’s fine. If it makes them a target, so be it. If it makes them loved by their fanbase but despised by others, that’s fine. What happened between Cousins and Duncan was trivial and a common occurrence in the league, but it didn’t need to be escalated like it was by Cousins or Elliot.
It’s a mountain out of a mole hill, no doubt, but it’s also a learning experience for the Kings’ young big. Hopefully next time he’ll just brush it off his shoulder.