Last night started out so promising for Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins. Dominating the floor, there seemed to be nobody in the gym that could stop Cousins other than himself. And unfortunately for Cousins and the Kings, that’s exactly what happened – a sight witnessed far too many times for King fans and players alike.
With 24 points and 10 rebounds in just 28 minutes, DeMarcus Cousins was ejected for an “elbow” to the head of Bucks swingman Mike Dunleavy, who was spotted barking with Cousins moments earlier. The issue stemming from a highly questionable block out by Dunleavy where he smashed into Cousins’ knee, bending it in an ugly fashion. Both players were seen harping at each other out of a timeout – Cousins instigating the yelling, which was followed by a two-hand push in the back moments later from Dunleavy. The push, as you can see in the video below, lead to this…
As Sacramento King fans can attest to, a blow to the head is a blow to the head (circa Ron Artest in the ’06 playoffs). There’s no disputing that and Cousins’ elbow clearly had a date with Dunleavy’s melon, but intentional? It looked no worse than the chop block moments earlier that Cousins was on the receiving end of.
That said – rules are rules and Cousin’s deserved the ejection, per the NBA Bible. But despite needing to control himself and his perceived reputation, I have a difficult time giving Cousins the blame in last nights dust up as both situations were instigated by Dunleavy. Sure, it’s up to Cousins to control himself in that scenario, but that’s pretty easy for myself (and others) to say when it wasn’t my leg being bent violently inwards – something that could’ve ended Cousins’ season or even worse.
There’s no doubt Cousins has had his issues – many of which he’s the main source of blame in, but last night, I just can’t pin it on him. The elbow intention was questionable and though deservedly ejected, he shouldn’t have been the lone person watching from the locker room.
But as King fans saw in the final moment of last nights game, objectiveness isn’t the strong suit of NBA referees.