Sacramento Kings Center DeMarcus Cousins was suspended for one game by the NBA on Wednesday for hitting Dallas Mavericks Guard OJ Mayo in the groin on Monday night. The incident occurred with 3:35 left in the second quarter of the Kings’ 119-96 road loss in Dallas.
Cousins was forced to sit out of Wednesday’s 98-85 road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. The suspension is the second of the young 2012-2013 season for Cousins after he was suspended two games on November 12 for his confrontation with TV Analyst Sean Elliott following a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
“Obviously, you miss a tremendous piece to your team when you have been playing pretty decent of late,” Kings coach Keith Smart said before the game against the Bucks. “When you lose a guy like Cousins it’s tough because you can’t replace what he brings to your team. We are going to try, but it won’t be easy.”
Cousins, who had been tussling with Mayo for position, swung his fist behind him and hit Mayo below the belt. Both players were assessed technical fouls after Mayo angrily confronted Cousins about the shot. Following Monday’s game, Mayo lashed out to the media about the volatile Kings Center.
“I told him, ‘Man, play basketball,’ ” Mayo said to the Dallas Morning News. ” ‘You’ve got a chance to be a good player, but when you do stuff like that, you’re like a garbage player. It’s not a sign of being great. Man, that guy has mental issues. He’s a talented player. He has an opportunity to be the face of the organization, but I don’t think he wants it.”
When asked by the Sacramento Bee about Mayo’s comments on him being a ‘garbage player’, Cousins was quick to fire shots back at the Mavericks Guard.
“I heard. This coming from a guy that doesn’t have a great image himself. So what does his really mean? I’m fine with it,” Cousins said.
Cousins is expected to return in Friday night’s road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He maintains that the groin shot was unintentional.
Watch the testy exchange between Cousins and Mayo in the video below: