Let me start off by saying this – DeMarcus Cousins is not perfect.
At times you can’t help but shake your head at some of his pointless antics. And that’s exactly what they are – pointless. Former Sacramento Kings beat writer and current USA Today columnist Sam Amick touched on the subject in a recent piece and while I understand what Sam was attempting to say, I can’t help but wonder how good Cousins has to become to where his antics becomes immune.
For all of Cousins ‘troubles’ we’ve praised players who’ve committed far worse sins. We don’t even have to look outside of the organization to find examples. What about Tyreke Evans when he was caught speeding, doing 130mph on a busy holiday weekend. Nobody was harmed, so it was all fun and games – but have we not learned anything from Bobby Phills? What if Evans had lost control? Hurt somebody or even worse? But nothing happened and we continued on. Evans was still Evans and we were more concerned about his swollen ankles than the fact he could have killed a family of four. And what about franchise icon Chris Webber? Marijuana charges and lying to a grand jury? But he was still our Chris Webber. Keon Clark? He’s now in prison on weapons charges, this after admitting he never played a game sober (and subsequently cane and left the arena impaired). Bonzi Wells? The list goes on.
Leave the Kings for a moment. Even the legends of the sport have had their issues. I won’t go through all of the broken laws players have committed simply because the server can’t handle that much text, but what about Michael Jordan? Did anybody care when he punched Steve Kerr? Will Purdue? Reggie Miller? And what about when Charles Barkley attacked his teammates? Did they get passes due to the lack of social media coverage? Or was it because they were icons in the game we all love? I mean – Michael Jordan couldn’t have done that, right? He was Michael Jordan. Were Chicago Bulls fans concerned over Jordan’s locker room antics or were they worried about their playoff victories?
Make no mistake – this isn’t a cry that DeMarcus Cousins is treated unfairly or that he doesn’t bring on his own problems. Fact of the matter is, he needs to be able to control his emotions. But this is also a player who outside of a few locker room altercations hasn’t had any off the court issues. There have been no arrests – no drinking – no drugs – no battery – no resisting. Yet no player in the league gets more grief over their current and past antics.
By no stretch is DeMarcus Cousins some perfect angel who does no wrong. That’s not what I’m saying. But at some invisible point, it seems as if a player hits a plateau where he becomes immune. A point where his poor off court decisions are overlooked. A point where his antics are considered the norm. Sometimes that’s the success of the player. Sometimes that’s the success of the overall team. But things just seemingly get swept under the rug.
We all want Cousins to be the model player we feel he can be. And maybe one day he’ll become that stranger. Maybe not. Maybe this is just who DeMarcus Cousins really is. But honestly, is it that bad?
I don’t want DeMarcus Cousins yelling obscenities to people in the crowd as much as the next guy. It’s stupid. It’s pointless. But if that is his biggest fault, I can live with it.
Call me when he’s in handcuffs.