Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins: ‘I can’t be myself’

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DeMarcus Cousins lets his emotions fuel him — sometimes constructively, sometimes destructively.

An example of the latter came last night, when Cousins — who has already been suspended once for technical fouls — received a tech for slapping Donatas Motiejunas in the face while protesting a call.

Cousins, via Ray Ratto of CSN California:

“It’s obvious, I can’t be myself,” Cousins said. “Me playing the way I play is what makes me the player that I am. Obviously it’s not acceptable, so I’m trying to find a way to do what these guys are asking me to do. It’s not easy, but I’m trying to find a way.”

Is arguing with referees really central to Cousins’ identity? If he cuts that down, would he stop being true to himself?

Many players enter the NBA like Cousins, emotionally volatile, getting too high or too low depending on circumstances. The best players learn how to feed off the positive and remain focused when the negative creeps in. Those who don’t adjust are ultimately worse off for it.

I believe Cousins wants to take that next step, but first, he must understand: A DeMarcus Cousins who doesn’t complain about every call can still be DeMarcus Cousins.