The NBA is known for it’s transparency; the NBA puts high value on superstar basketball players who can provide marketability and ratings. It’s perhaps why the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers have spent more time on prime-time television this season than they have the previous years pre-Steph Curry super-stardom and post LeBron James returning to Cleveland. To simply put it, they are box office draws for the NBA. One player who is nearly considered in the same vein as Curry and James is Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins, who always possessed the talent to be a top NBA player, just not the mentality or behavior. Cousins is averaging 29.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, good enough for third and 11th in the NBA, respectively.
Cousins’ behavior has always been considered erratic and inconsistent, which has caused him to be a staple for technical fouls and ejections by the referees. Below is Cousins going on a tirade speaking against the officials after getting ejected/brought back after the referees thought he spit his mouthpiece out toward the Portland Trailblazers bench. (Note: Cousins scored the second most points in his career with 55.)
Cousins has been prominent in the NBA trade headlines, with his name being linked to a variety of NBA teams such as the New Orleans Pelicans and, most recently, the Boston Celtics. Cousins’ behavior, linked with his failure to advance the Kings to the playoffs in his previous six seasons, could cause the Kings to eventually force their hand. But according to CSNNE, the Celtics may not want to deal with Cousins, which would cause the Kings to find another NBA team to potentially trade Cousins to.
“Look, talent is not an issue here.
“The 6-foot-11 center has lots of it.
“But here’s the issue.
“As much talent as Cousins has, it doesn’t trump the trouble that seems to follow him at every turn.
“The recent blowup he had with a Sacramento-based columnist was just the latest in a long string of bad predicaments that Cousins consistently finds himself involved with.
“If all the NBA were about was securing the best talent, acquiring him would be a no-brainer.
“But that’s not how this works.
“And for those of us who have spent some time talking with Cousins in the past, he comes across as a very likeable guy who is often misunderstood.
“But as you talk to him and listen to his words and see his actions, he’s misunderstood because he consistently allows himself to be put in predicaments that don’t portray him in the most flattering light.”
In defense of Cousins’ perceived lack of trade value, many pundits believe Cousins was failed by the Kings because of their lack of effort to surround him around exceptional talent. Could the Kings have helped Cousins, which would have enhanced his standing with the big wigs around the NBA? SBNation believes so.
“The Kings are 11-17, on pace for 32 wins, which would be one fewer than last season’s 33, which was Sacramento’s high-water mark since Cousins was drafted in 2010.
“It’s easy to blame Cousins for the Kings’ woes, because he has been literally the only constant over the past six years and change. Ownership has changed, the front office has changed twice, the coach has been replaced five times. The roster has been a constant churn.
“But those Kings’ woes extend to a time before Boogie, and have a helluva lot to do with the fact that every Kings general manager of the past 10 years has struggled mightily to put talent around Cousins.”
For Cousins, the best player he’s played with arguably could be Rudy Gay, but he has reached his ceiling according to some. So far, a trade to the Celtics appears unlikely at the moment. But to keep this topic in perspective, this is the NBA and anything is possible. For Cousins, to improve his standing in the NBA requires commitment to improve his attitude and how he reacts.
[Featured image by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]