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.
I’ll admit it, I wasn’t sold completely as everyone else was when John Wall decided to leave Kentucky after one season and head to the big leagues. I thought his jump shot was weak (although I knew he could improve overtime), he was inconsistent offensively and took too many 3s when he wasn’t good at them, and I felt he was a little overhyped because of the players he was surrounded by at that time (DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Eric Bledsoe). So yeah, I was a little hard on Wall, but who am I? He doesn’t care about me. I’m just another blogger on the outside looking in. But I’ll tell you one thing: he even shocked the overhypes by playing that good.
In 69 games last season, Wall averaged 16.4 points per game, 8.3 assists and 1.8 steals in 37 minutes. Those are outstanding numbers for a rookie, especially when you’re the best player on the team. As a rookie. He had a 19 point, 15 assist game in a win against Utah, and a career-high 32 points in a losing effort on the road against Blake Griffin. The kid might be the fastest thing I’ve seen with a basketball since Allen Iverson (Monta slowed down a bit). He’s only 21 years old and leads a team that has seven players 23 years or younger. How crazy is that? Despite the 66 game season this year, Wall feels healthy and ready to push the pace in order to succeed:
“I feel this is my year to break out,” Wall said.
“I’m 100 percent now. I’m way better than I was. I’m feeling the same way I felt when I first started playing here last year. I got goals set for myself, but I don’t like talking about it. I’m focusing on team goals. All the elite point guards in the league right now, they all are winners. They care about your stats here or there, but if you’re winning games and take your teams and considered championship kind of teams, that’s what it’s all about.”
Wall’s hard work has never been in question (kid plays his ass off), but he does need more out of his teammates. He’s a pretty solid defender already but he needs guys like Andre Blatche and JaValee McGee to mature as fast as he did. He needs guys like Nick Young (if he comes back) to focus more on defending rather than taking 20 shots a night just to earn his 20 points on the stat sheet. In fact, Wall’s hard work was recognized so well that head coach Flip Saunders gave him a construction had to wear around practice with an option of keeping it or giving it to someone else, but who else would he give it to? Who else has worked harder than him in Washington other than Mr. President?
With the offseason additions of adding two veterans in Roger Mason Jr. and Ronny Turiaf, on paper the Wizards look real nice, especially if they can bring Young back. Having easily the youngest team in the league and trying to coach it is no easy take (just ask Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris), but someone has to do it. And as long as Saunders has Wall around, his job will be a lot easier.
Doesn’t it seem like all of the summers best basketball has taken place on the East Coast? For those who didn’t already know, the Midwest finally got some NBA love during the Goodman vs. Indy Pro Am game that took place at Butler University on Sept. 24. Players such as Zach Randolph, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks (Jazz first-round draft pick in 2011), Lance Stephenson, Shelvin Mack and George Hill all represented for Indiana. For Goodman, the headliners were Kevin Durant, John Wall and my guy DeMarcus Cousins.
I might be Cousins biggest supporter. Many have labeled him as a problem child, which he has caused problems so far during his pro career, but trust me, this kid is going to be the next best center outside of Dwight Howard for the next decade once he learns how to control his temper and focus more in the paint instead of his outside shooting (which he’s pretty good at). The kid’s a beast, plain and simple. Check out some quick highlights.
LA vs DMV. Drew League vs Goodman League featuring: Brandon Jennings, Kevin Durant, John Wall, Javale McGee, Demarcus Cousins, Gary Neal, Ty Lawson, Craig Smith, James Harden, DeMar Derozan, Josh Selby and more!!! Crazy game! I say New York City and Team NIKE representing Dyckman gets next!
University of Kentucky vs. University of Connecticut. UK vs UConn. Wildcats vs. Huskies. Coach John Calipari vs Coach Jim Calhoun. Brandon Knight vs. Kemba Walker. UK NBA Alums (like DeMarcus Cousins) vs. UConn NBA Alums (like Rudy Gay). So many storylines! This Saturday can’t come fast enough! It’s going to be a battle for the history books. I’m expecting an instant ESPN classic with UConn pulling through with the W. Shouts to Nike Sportswear!
Check out John Wall, Blake Griffin, DeMarcus Cousins, DeJuan Blair, and the rest of the NBA’s best Rookies and Sophomores have some fun in last night’s annual Rookies vs. Sophomores game. Who knew DeJuan Blair had hops like that? And the man has no ACLs…
Dime’s AP got the chance to ask all of this year’s NBA Rookie Class (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Evan Turner, etc.) what they got in their iPod playlists as well as what they bought after they received their first NBA paycheck. The general consensus is that they’re listening to Drake, Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy, and Rick Ross while Jeremy Lin is bumping some Christina music. Most of the rookies also spent their first NBA money on a new car, a house for their mom or themselves, or … food. Hit the jump for the other DimeTV video.
Kentucky got the win but their freshmen center DeMarcus Cousins took the L on this play as Georgia’s Travis Leslie put him on a poster.
John Calipari has accepted the University of Kentucky job offer for head basketball coach.