DeMarcus Cousins Al Horford

Even in an exhibition, DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t like refs

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DeMarcus Cousins felt like the referees didn’t respect him during his rookie season. Normally we’d chalk that up to rookies not getting calls in the NBA, but Cousins felt like that in college. He probably said the same things in high school.

That attittude was the main reason he racked up technicals at a Rasheed-like pace last year (well, maybe not that fast but you get the idea).

Wherever there are refs, Cousins is not happy with the calls. No matter the stakes. Check out what he said to the Herald-Leader after an exhibition game this week. Cousins was part of the Kentucky alumni who took on the John Calipari coached Dominican Republic team at Rupp Arena, a tune up for the Dominicans as they get read for the FIBA Americas tournament (which determines bids for the 2012 Olympics). Cousins was matched up with Al Horford for large chunks of the game.

DeMarcus Cousins, who continued his Rupp Arena habit of feeling persecuted by non-calls, said he’d like to participate in future (Kentucky alumni) games.

“I’m down with it,” he said before adding, “as long as we don’t have the same refs.”

Cousins is going to be fascinating to watch the next few seasons. He has the talent to be an All-Star — if he can handle the mental side of being an NBA player. If he can mature.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.