After a strong showing with Team USA during FIBA World Cup play this past summer, DeMarcus Cousins began the NBA season with the Kings essentially as a model citizen.
The petulant behavior Cousins is known for had seemingly become a thing of the past, he was exerting more effort than usual on the defensive end of the floor, and he was putting up huge numbers in points and rebounds on a regular basis while Sacramento surprised by getting out to a 9-5 start.
But since then, things have changed drastically.
Cousins missed 10 games with a serious illness, and for reasons that seemed silly to virtually everyone outside of the Kings organization, Sacramento fired a very good head coach.
Since then, the team has gone just 3-6, and Cousins seems to have reverted back to his previously grumpy self.
An ejection for a ridiculous play during a loss in Boston was followed up by a curious display in Minnesota the very next night.
As seen in the clip above, Cousins simply stands bent over with his hands on his knees during a late-game offensive possession against the Timberwolves — with his team leading by just one with under five minutes remaining.
Whether fatigued or frustrated, this is a terrible look from the face of the Sacramento franchise.
The Kings didn’t bother to inform their star player when his coach was fired, and they didn’t tell him when the interim coach was inked for the remainder of the season, either. The organization shouldn’t have to handle Cousins with kid gloves necessarily, but a simple act of communication would have been nice under the circumstances.
Still, none of that excuses the way Cousins is behaving, or has behaved for much of his NBA career. He seemed willing to move forward from the problems of the past, but an organizational decision that looks worse with each passing day appears to have caused a considerable setback.
[via Zach Lowe]