The Kings beat the Celtics by 16 Wednesday, Sacramento’s biggest win over a team in playoff position this season. And the Kings did it without their heart and soul, DeMarcus Cousins, who was suspended for technical fouls
Collison, via CSN California:
I thought we did an unbelievable job of really coming together. Nobody was complaining about the calls or anything that was going on. I thought we did a really good job of just staying locked in. Like I said, it’s not easy playing without DeMarcus Cousins. He’s our best player. But we was able to get a win without him.
Was that a thinly veiled shot at Cousins? Perhaps. If so, Collison immediately realized he went too far and praised the franchise center.
But I also think it’s more likely Collison intended no slight to Cousins.
Still, these comments are instructive. It can be exhausting to play with a teammate who constantly bickers with referees. Cousins sets a tone that is too often destructive to himself and the Kings. It’d be healthier to focus on overcoming whatever obstacles cross their path rather than spending so much time and energy whining to referees.
This is part of the reason teams are reluctant to trade for Cousins despite his immense talent.
Ideally, Cousins would show introspection here, to determine why Sacramento played better for one night without him. The Kings are still better with him in the long haul, but he can improve his value to the team even further by complaining less about calls.