Tag: Sacramento Kings

Toronto Raptors v Sacramento Kings

DeMarcus Cousins says he ‘didn’t expect’ to make the All-Star team


DeMarcus Cousins was named to his first All-Star team this season, but it took the intervention of the commissioner (and a season-ending injury to Kobe Bryant) to ultimately make it happen.

Cousins wasn’t voted in as a starter by the fans, and he wasn’t named as one of the reserves by the head coaches in the Western Conference. But his body of work impressed Adam Silver enough for Cousins to get the nod — even though the player himself says the honor isn’t something that he ever expected.

From Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com:

“Honestly, I really didn’t expect myself to make it,” Cousins said. “I mean, the West was so tough this year and there are so many talented guys in the West. But the crazy thing is, me and Dame were texting after the results came out and I was telling him, ‘Man, you know you’re going to make this team, like, it’s nothing.’ It’s just kind of crazy how things worked out.”

It is the first All-Star appearance for Cousins, who ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring (23.8 points per game) and third in rebounding (12.3 rebounds per game).

As the league noted in a release, over the last 20 years, only five players — David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Kevin Love — have averaged at least 23 points and 12 rebounds in a season.

Cousins has the statistical qualifications, but some chalk up his play to simply being the one to put up big numbers on a dreadful Sacramento Kings team.

Then there are the attitude problems, which have largely plagued Cousins throughout his career. The coaches didn’t seem eager to reward that behavior with an All-Star spot, especially when the West is so deep that an alternative choice could be easily justified.

But Cousins is as deserving as many others, so the commissioner indeed made a solid decision — even though Damian Lillard may believe otherwise.

MORE: CSN California subscriber? Watch Kings-Pacers Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET

Damian Lillard “disappointed,” “disrespected” not to make All-Star team

Washington Wizards v Portland Trail Blazers

I pity teams that have to try to stop Damian Lillard the next few weeks.

He is the most glaring omission from the All-Star rosters. Lillard is scoring 21.7 points and dishing out 6.1 assists a game as one of the two leaders for the third best team in the West (fourth best record in the NBA). Lillard was an All-Star last season, took on more of the Blazers offense this season and has played improved basketball at both ends, and didn’t make the cut. Then on Friday, forced with a difficult choice between two deserving players to fill Kobe Bryant’s spot on the team — Lillard or DeMarcus Cousins — Commissioner Adam Silver went with Cousins.

Lillard is frustrated, he told Jabari Young of CSNNW.com.

“I just felt disrespected,” Lillard said, “because I play the game the right way. I play unselfishly. I play for my team to win games and I produce at a high level. I think what I bring to the game as a person, my makeup mentally, how I am towards my teammates, how I am towards the media, how I am towards fans, I think what an All-Star represents in this league and what you would want people to look at as an All-Star, I think I makeup all those things….

“I thought I did all that I could do individually,” Lillard said. “I thought my team has been successful. It was something that I can’t control. Everything thing I can control to give myself the best shot, I did.”

Lillard didn’t just vent a little to the media, he posted this on Instagram Friday along with a picture that reads “Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You.” (That post has since been removed.)

I just want to thank the coaches who feel I wasn’t good enough, the fans that didn’t think I was good enough , and Adam Silver also for not thinking I was good enough. This isn’t unfamiliar territory for me , it’s actually what my life has been inspired by. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed or that I don’t feel disrespected but it’s not too much to handle. Not the first or last guy to be snubbed. “You should have been there” isn’t good enough for me. But anyway, The reason I’m in these shoes is because I’ve always use the hand I was dealt to my advantage… A wise man once told me… ” it ain’t always gone be peaches and cream but somebody has to pay for the reason it’s not … One way or another ” … #ImThankful #Real #NonAllStar #RipCity #YellowTape

Silver was going to make someone unhappy, but the league office says that the commissioner chose Cousins because he was next highest in the coach voting. (Fans vote for the All-Star Game starters, but coaches from around the league vote to round out the roster, and they rank players as they vote. Cousins apparently was ahead of Lillard on that scale.)

For Lillard, it doesn’t matter why, he just knows he’s not going to be playing in New York.

A frustration he’s going to take out on teams for a few weeks.

DeMarcus Cousins replaces Kobe Bryant in All-Star game

DeMarcus Cousins, Kobe Bryant

Fans voted Kobe Bryant a Western Conference All-Star starter, but the Lakers guard is out for the rest of the season.

So, it fell on NBA commissioner Adam Silver to pick a replacement.

NBA release:

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Western Conference All-Star Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game in New York City.

Silver must have seen Cousins’ incredible Instagram post.

Beyond giving Clay Travis a well-deserved comeuppance, Cousins is having a heck of a season on the court. Really, it shouldn’t have come to this. The coaches snubbed Cousins by not choosing him among the initial seven reserves.

This still leaves Damian Lillard in the cold, and he also deserved to make the game. I guess he’ll remain pissed off.

Honesty, I’m surprised Silver picked Cousins. Merits aside, Lillard is a marketing star and Cousins threw an opponent to the floor earlier this season. Which seems more likely to draw support from the Commissioner? With this decision, Silver is showing something about his approach.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who’s coaching the Western Conference team, will select Kobe’s replacement in the starting lineup. James Harden deserves the honor. Given Harden’s treatment of Golden State, bet on Klay Thompson.

DeMarcus Cousins wins.


DeMarcus Cousins slipped to No. 5 in the 2010 draft because of questions about his maturity.

And those were fair.

Cousins hasn’t always been a model NBA citizen.

But that doesn’t make him a criminal. Far from it.

That false-equivalency is way too common, and Clay Travis deserves all the shade Cousins throws his way.

Three Things We Learned in NBA Thursday: The All-Star Rosters need to be expanded

Washington Wizards v Portland Trail Blazers

If you watch closely every night in the NBA you can learn a little something. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to help with those lessons from another night in the Association. Here’s what you missed while hearing how the Denver Broncos almost traded a young John Elway

1) The All-Star rosters need to be expanded so we don’t have more Cousins/Lillard situations. Yes, DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Lillard got screwed by not being put on the All-Star team. They deserved a spot. The problem is in the West, who do you replace? Tim Duncan? He’s putting up 14 and 10 plus is in the discussion for Defensive Player of the Year. If you think this is a lifetime achievement award you need to watch more Spurs games. And at guard, you want to remove Chris Paul? Then you’re taking him for granted because he’s right at his career average numbers — 17.5 points a game, plus 9.7 assists to just 2.2 turnovers a night.

The problem is there are more deserving players than spots — so why not add more spots? Bump the roster to 15 players. The game is an exhibition, so you cut a few minutes to make room for some other deserving guys, the fans aren’t going to complain. They want a show, they want to see the world’s best players, why not make sure they are all there?

2) Bulls don’t bother against another sub .500 team and lose. Again. The Chicago Bulls have 18 losses on the season and half of them have come against sub-.500 teams. This is a team that for years under Tom Thibodeau had a clear identity — they would play physical defense and just out work the opponent. This season the offense is clicking but Chicago is 12th in the league in defensive efficiency — they are inconsistent with their effort. A couple nights after playing maybe their best game of the season to beat Golden State the Bulls mentally took the night off. The Lakers opened the game on a 6-0 run, were up 11 after the first quarter and led by double digits most of the first half.

“We started the game with low energy, we were badly out rebounded,” Thibodeau said after the game. “They started out shooting 60 percent in the first half and any team that you give confidence too like that, it’s hard to shut them off.

Led by Joakim Noah the Bulls played 90 seconds of defense to end the game, and that was enough to make up nine points, tie the game and send it to overtime. Then double overtime. As it has been all season, the Bulls played a few minutes of good defense then stopped again. To a man the players say they know about the problem and it’s just a matter of effort at the start of games. Maybe so, but we need to see it from them.

3) Zach Randolph can still put up numbers. Maybe not making the All-Star team motivated Randolph, but whatever the reason he put up a quality line against Denver — 15 points and 17 rebounds — as the Grizzlies just rolled the Nuggets Thursday. Randolph is still just a load down on the low block and he may be a third offensive option some nights (behind Marc Gasol and Mike Conley) he can still cause defenses nightmares.