While attention has focused on DeMarcus Cousins‘ interaction with a Sacramento Bee columnist, the Bee’s video of DeMarcus Cousins feuding with reporters also highlighted his rift with Cowbell Kingdom.
After one game, Cousins refused to address a group of reporters until a Cowbell Kingdom writer left. Before another, Cousins jawed at Cowbell Kingdom managing editor Leo Beas.
There was apparently yet another incident between Cousins and Cowbell Kingdom not included in the video.
As members of the press drew closer to conduct the normal media scrum, Cousins singled me out and began talking to me in a very unprofessional manner. Instead of pulling me aside, as most professional basketball players would, he tried to verbally intimidate our photo editor, Emmanuel Basulto, and me and then began attacking me on a personal level. Instead of escalating the situation, we exited the locker room.
I even received a text from a Kings player apologizing on the team’s behalf for having to witness another tantrum by the “leader” of the team.
Last season, a report emerged Cousins’ teammate were growing tired of his moodiness and disrespectful attitude. This is just another indication that problem remains.
Cousins’ issues with the media have been somewhat overblown (though that doesn’t make Cousins right or wise or even close to either). But they appear to be part of a larger problem, one that includes Cousins alienating teammates – a much bigger deal.
As for the courtside incident with Cowbell Kingdom, Beas:
The Sacramento Bee only released a small portion of the altercation, which is positive for Cousins because if the full video had been released, then we would be talking about something else. I’ll just leave it at that.
It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.
Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.
The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.
Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).
Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.
If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.
Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).
With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.
Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.
Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.
The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.
It might have been the loudest the crypto.com Arena was all night.
Between the third and fourth quarters, Lakers fan Jamie Murry of Downey won $75,000 draining a half-court shot — and he got to celebrate with Anthony Davis.
Murry’s celebration is the best part — with Anthony Davis coming out to celebrate with him (and seeming a little shocked by the hug).
One other big shot fell at this game, but Lakers’ fans didn’t like it as much — Pacers’ rookie Andrew Nembhard drained a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.