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Posted by Brian Mulligan on 12/28/2010 9:10:50 AM

Granted, players in the National Basketball Association play with short pants but this is not a league for babies and some of the actions by the Sacramento Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins have been flat out childish.

First off, a word about Cousins. He is making over $3.3 million a year and brings a unique mix of raw size and explosive mobility. He can also run the floor.

On the other side of the ledger he is foul prone, has not shown the fire that will make him work to get into better shape and he has a long way to go to become a complete player. He could turn into a taller, more physical Al Jefferson type, or an underachieving Derrick Coleman clone.

In college he was spoon fed the ball by the exciting John Wall, who took his talents to Washington but in the Kings organization, there is nobody around to baby sit him and it’s starting to show.

Way before this incident to follow, he was screaming at assistant coaches and kicked out of practice.

In a recent overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors, Cousins directed a ‘choke taunt’ in the direction of Reggie Williams who was on the line. He was immediately fined, benched and his Coach Paul Westphal was quoted as saying that he won’t start again until he shows more professionalism.

For the record, he was averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds and had 7 points and 13 bounds before being removed.

The Kings loss prompted Westpaul to say, “there’s a line in this league when you think you can’t get any lower.”

Well, it got lower 2 days later when the Kings again lost at home to the Bucks.

As far as Cousins is concerned, at this point it has become evident that Westpaul has no clue how to handle the kid.

One of my former friends and golf partners was 2-time NBA Coach of the Year Cotton Fitzsimmons, who rarely said anything negative about anything or anyone, but I remember he had a choice line once when asked about Westpaul.

He said something like, “the guy thinks he knows every thing there is to know about basketball”, a clear knock as the coaches that thrive in this league like Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich learn, change, and grow every day.

The Kings meanwhile don’t get back on defense, don’t push the break, and don’t finish plays or games.

Their leading scorer only puts up 16 a game, they lost 5 of their first 27 and have to start 2011 playing Denver (twice) Phoenix, Atlanta, Boston and New York all before mid-January.

In fairness, they have had injuries. Tyreke Evans has had a bit of the sophomore jinx, Sam Dalembert has been a bit of a disappointment and they play a short bench.

And a bright spot on the squad last year, Omri Casspi, has been in the coach’s doghouse all years and can’t stay on the floor for more than 10 minutes.

At this point, this is a tough team to bet on and don’t be shocked if there is a new general at the helm right before or soon after the All-Star break.



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