Cousins is a rare breed. In fact, I’ll go as far to say that I believe if he got his act together and played with patience and poise, DeMarcus Cousins would be the second-best center in the game behind Dwight Howard. That’s how talented this kid is. Having just turned 20 years of age back in August, Cousins is a 6-foot-11, 270 pound behemoth. That kind of size makes him one of the biggest middle men in the NBA, and he’s definitely one of the nastiest.
But his immaturity is what dropped him to No. 5 overall in the 2010 NBA draft.
Most are probably thinking, “5 is a great spot!” Yes, but not when you’re supposed to be the No. 1 pick overall, except your behavior both on and off the court keeps you from being just that.
According to ESPN’s J.A. Adande, Kings head coach Paul Westphal first released the statement that DeMarcus has decided to request a trade from the team this past weekend:
In the statement, Westphal said Cousins has “continually, aggressively” shown “he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team.” Westphal said Cousins demanded a trade. Cousins’ agent told Sports Illustrated that the player did not demand a trade. Regardless of who initiated it, the Kings clearly want to move Cousins.
The Kings had high-hopes of both Cousins and Tyreke Evans being the future of the team, but unfortunately Boogie isn’t cutout for a young team, he needs to be surrounded by veterans. Not only his attitude, but his production on the court have become a problem: He’s averaging 18 shots per game (13 points), but has a true-shooting percentage of 41%, which is awful compared to his near 49% during his rookie campaign (via Basketball-Reference).
There’s no reason he should be taking 18 shots a game and only average 13 points (Dwight, on average, shoots the ball 11 times a night and averages 18.2 points per game for his career). His rebounding (8.6 to 11.3) and shot-blocking (0.8 to 1.5) are both up, but that doesn’t makeup for how he acts. As previously stated, a veteran team is what this kid needs and a team like the Detroit Pistons could prove worthy, although there’s no telling how he will handle not winning a bunch of games because they’re basically in rebuilding mode.
Having a guy like Ben Wallace on team (excuse his recent D.U.I.) could prove wonders for Cousins. He’s a 4-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner and he has an NBA championship under his belt, things like that are what Cousins needs. Not to mention that Wallace isn’t the kind of guy who would put up with his immaturity, he might knock him on his ass.
I gave my two cents, but Adande has a few players around the league’s as well:
This is a business,” is what Kurt Thomas said he would tell Cousins. “You’re not playing for just one team, you’re playing for the 29 other teams. You’ve got to keep playing, keep your head. A lot of guys think it’s all show. You’ve got to keep your head.”
“He has too much talent to be doing all of that [stuff],” Kobe (Bryant) said. “Just play, man.”
Those are both long-time players of the league, also with one of the Top 10 players of all-time telling you, DeMarcus, that you’re too talented to be acting out like a 10-year-old kid after your sister ate the last pudding cup in the refrigerator. You’re a 20-year-old millionaire — I’m 23, and struggling — who is living his long-fulfilled dream of becoming a professional basketball player.
But can team’s trust you?
I know Detroit will take a chance on you, but what if they back-out? What if they’re afraid of how you will act if they start losing? What about if you end up on a championship contending team and coming off the bench? Will you complain about not getting your starters numbers and minutes? These are questions that we all need to know, these are questions that all need answers.