DeMarcus Cousins scored his 54th point against an overmatched Trail Blazers front line Tuesday night, turned to the Portland bench and let out a string of obscenity-laced trash talk. To the point that his mouthpiece went flying out of his mouth.
At first, the referees ejected Cousins for it. Then they reversed course and brought him back. Cousins though the whole thing was “ridiculous” (and someone should buy him a thesaurus for Christmas).
Portland’s Meyers Leonard thought the refs had it right the first time.
Here’s the heart of what Leonard said:
“He deserved to be out of the game for what he did. He’s a very skilled player, had a very good game. But his antics are over the top. He’s disrespectful. Out of line. The list of words could go on. I can’t respect someone like that…. I saw some comment from him, ‘The world needs to see, this is ridiculous.’ No it’s not ridiculous. He did it to himself, and that’s the truth, and people need to know that.”
The feud between Cousins and Leonard is not new. Cousins has said before last night that Leonard’s entire gameplan is to try to frustrate him because Leonard isn’t as skilled/good as Boogie. Leonard has returned the “love,” called Cousins “vulgar,” and had a good game against Cousins before.
Part of Cousins’ game is intimidation — physical and verbal. The NBA has a long tradition of that, running back through Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and so many more. Some players always push back against that, and Cousin’s brand of talk isn’t quite as clever as Bird’s. Which means we’re going to see a lot more of it between these two.