DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins didn’t like Colangelo calling him immature


The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem.

Which brings us to DeMarcus Cousins, the very talented Kings big man who is part of the USA Select Team, the group of young players brought in to training camp to work out and push Team USA.

On the first day of camp, Cousins was very physical. Too physical. Especially on what he should consider his own team. Carmelo Anthony described it as Cousins “fouling the s— out of everyone.” The Sacramento Bee described the reaction of some USA Basketball officials to Cousins this way (via SLAM).

Too much fouling. Too much trash-talking. Too much complaining about favoritism (edge, Olympians) to the referees. Too many frowns, head shakes and frustrated hand flips.

So USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo called him out for it.

Cousins didn’t like that and told the Bee he asked Colangelo about it.

“I actually just had a conversation with (Colangelo),” Cousins revealed after Monday’s scrimmage between the Select Team and members of the recently named U.S. Olympic squad. “I asked him, ‘How was I being immature?’ He never really gave me an answer. I mean, I really wanted to know. I took offense to it. … It definitely bothered me.”

Colangelo saw it a little differently.

“Everything’s cool,” Colangelo said when reached later in the day. “He wanted an explanation. I was trying to be more encouraging than anything else.”

Credit Cousins for going to him and talking about it.

Cousins is still learning and growing up — which is as one should expect. The question is not his basketball IQ or his game, it has always felt more like a sense of entitlement and not really grasping the situation. He has made strides, but that does not mean the journey is complete. And new coach Keith Smart did something smart that Paul Westphal was never able to do — build a relationship with Cousins. So when those moments do come, you go talk to him not smack him around in the media. It seems to work.

It’s the lesson Colangelo is learning, too.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.