Does this count as shots fired? Because I’m usually pretty quick to come to Boogie’s defense, especially when people say things like the following:
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has defaulted on most every standard of athletic professionalism in his three-year NBA career. He clashed with two coaches – one a regrettable, ill-fitting hire (Paul Westphal), the other promoted because of his bond with Cousins (Keith Smart) – and survived both of their firings. His body language is horrendous and tends to irk referees (Cousins led the NBA in technical fouls last season) as much as it does casual fans. He’s been suspended by his team and the NBA and allowed his frustrations on the court to boil over into postgame confrontations with teammates and broadcasters.
That was courtesy of Rob Mahoney of Sports Illustrated, who later in the article also called him a “loose cannon aimed in no particular direction.” So, spoiler alert, he’s not exactly a huge fan of DeMarcus Cousins, the person. Still though, Mahoney thinks the Kings would be wise to lock him up longterm, saying:
Only one other NBA player matched Cousins last season in both scoring and rebounding per minute. That player was Tim Duncan, and while the two make for an odd coupling of inverse personalities, their comparison should put in perspective the caliber of production at stake in Cousins’ career. His is simply a case of an All-NBA talent wrapped in a consistent headache, and it’s frankly easier to track down an economy-sized bottle of Tylenol than a big-man prospect with Cousins’ bona fides.
The Tylenol metaphor seems a tad harsh, but it’s hard to argue with his overall point: no matter what concerns might exist surrounding DMC’s alleged antics, when measured by just about any statistical category, he’s one of the truly elite big men in the game today. And he’s only 22.
If that’s not enough to convince the Kings to do the right thing, Mahoney also brings up a second point for why Sacramento should extend him, and it’s good one– longterm stability might soften the edges of some of the other issues that seem to swirl around Boogie:
He can grow as a person and player if given the right opportunities in controlled, fixed environments. By that same logic, he could stand to benefit from the resolution of a quick extension as opposed to playing out the season with his impending free agency swirling overhead.
Getting Cousins on the right path involves keeping his head as clear of such distractions when possible, and on the contract issue the Kings have the power to set his immediate future in ink. It’s a gamble that understandably will make some nervous. But as long as the Kings are sold on Cousins as a basketball entity (and given the statistical company he keeps, I don’t know why they wouldn’t be), they have ample reason to lock him up as a means of securing a foundation.
That I totally agree with. For all the talk of Cousins being a coach-killer, etc, Sacramento was hardly an environment conducive to the development of young players to begin with. Since Day 1 of Cousins career there, the ownership has been up in the air, relocation rumors have run rampant, and seemingly every other week, his name has come up in trade talks. Longterm stability has never been something available to Boogie.
Hopefully though, that changes soon.
For that reason and more, it’s time to pay the man, Sactown.