DeMarcus Cousins isn’t totally wrong here — we tend not to give the benefit of the doubt to people we have seen act a certain way before.
That’s pretty much how Cousins sees his reputation and the response to him — people don’t give him a fair chance.
He said as much to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated in a fantastic interview. Seriously, go read the whole thing.
Cousins starts off by admitting he lets little things get to him too much but then says people don’t give him a chance.
“Sometimes I let some of the small things take over,” Cousins told SI.com. “It can be a simple thing, like a call going the wrong way, and it takes me all off. I’ve got a real problem when I know something is wrong or I feel something is wrong, I’m going to speak about it. I get it from my mother. It’s a problem I have. I don’t want to say I want to change it because it helped me get where I am. But at the same time, I have to learn to be quiet….
“I’m not going to sit here and say I’m innocent, because I’ve done things,” Cousins said. “But to get the reputation that I’ve got, I don’t think I’ve done enough. I don’t have a criminal record. Some of the guys with the cleanest image in the league have a record. I don’t think I was given a fair chance. I don’t know what I did in college that was so bad to get that reputation. OK, there is footage of me and Coach Cal going at each other. That happens in sports. Coming into the league, everyone said I was going to be fat, I was the next Oliver Miller. I had all these red flags. I just feel I was never given a fair chance coming in.”
Cousins goes on to say that is still true with the Sacramento Kings, who treat him like he has never done anything right when he makes a mistake. They don’t give him the benefit of the doubt.
Because they have learned from the past.
The thing is, reputations can change. People mature. Reasonable people give others a second chance if they show they are changing.
Cousins needs to let things roll off his back — if a broadcaster criticizes you during a game, don’t go find him afterward to complain. Let it go. You prove him wrong by playing hard, playing smart and making him look foolish for what he said.
Cousins can do that — his immense talent is not in question. And he has been a model citizen by all reports since the last Kings suspension (that lasted all of one game). It sounds like a cheesy self-help book thought, but it’s true — if Cousins becomes the player he wants on and off the court, he will get that fair chance from people. But he’s going to have to earn that chance now.