Blog Entry

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:44 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 8:00 pm
3-on-2 explores the answers to two questions from each of our three bloggers on EOB. This week's topic? DeMarcus Cousins and the firing of Paul Westphal. 

1. Is DeMarcus Cousins worth the hassle for the Kings, specifically?

Ben Golliver: This was an excellent question to ask... before the 2010 NBA Draft. Now it's pretty much too late with things having evolved along a worst case scenario since the Kings opted to take the plunge. Cousins hasn't matured, he hasn't produced in such overwhelming volume that would make his pouting and off-court distractions worth putting up with and he hasn't played either so well that he is truly tradeable or so poorly that, a la Hasheem Thabeet, Sacramento can just cut ties and move on without him. Sacramento is stuck with him now whether he's worth the hassle or not. A new coach can bring a second lease on life to players who act out like he has. It's a possibility worth praying for in this case but don't bank on it.

Royce Young: Yes, for now. Cousins isn't guaranteed to be the problem. Sometimes players and coaches simply don't get along. Players with attitudes like Cousins can be successful in the league as long as they fit in and are part of a culture they fit. See: Wallace, Rasheed. Cousins has enough talent to wait it out. Keith Smart will be more of a players' coach than Westphal so if Cousins clashes with him and is clearly disrupting the locker room and bringing down the attitude and development of the team, that's when you part ways.

Matt Moore: Not for this team, I'm convinced. Cousins has the potential to be an NBA All-Star but he needs rigid structure. He has to have a team that puts very specific limits on his behavior, without doing so confrontationally. He needs veteran leadership to set an example for him. (COUGH* BOSTON* COUGH.) The Kings are in too much flux to hang on to him. He has great value, and you never want to give up on a player on a rookie contract with talent. The Kings don't need further headaches. They've created enough of their own.

2. Does firing Westphal after the Cousins incident this week set a dangerous precedent? If so, why, if not, why not?

Golliver: Firing Westphal was Sacramento taking a not-particularly-expensive stand against ineffective coaching and terrible relationship management. It was clear from Sacramento's second game of the season that the Kings weren't playing for him. Bigger than any individual player who winds up looking like a coach-killer or feeling like he can do whatever he wants with no repercussions is the message that you send to every player if you keep Westphal around as a lame duck. That message would be: "We're totally cool with totally sucking." New coach Keith Smart will need to work immediately to lay new ground rules for both DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, who hasn't played to his capabilities this year, or Sacramento will be coach-hunting again before they know it.

Young: It only seems that way because Geoff Petrie for some reason allowed Westphal to send out that trade demand press release last week. Without that, we're probably talking about why Westphal was fired because over two-plus seasons he'd only won 50 games. You never want the appearance that a player got a coach fired, but remember, Jerry Sloan kind of sort of retired partly because of Deron Williams and that situation. It's not really anything new. It's an ugly situation and it kind of scares Cousins' already tarnished reputation, but it happens. It's a players league. Always has been and always will be.

Moore: Allowing the entire debacle paints the picture. Cousins didn't want to play for Westphal. Now he won't. The better approach would have been to recognize that Cousins was a bigger part of the Kings' future than Paul Westphal. Because the result is a situation that may have been justifiable, and yet still looks bad and makes management seem weak with regards to the next time a player becomes disgruntled.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2012 2:14 pm

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

Lanceito, I get the point you're making and I do agree to a point. However, there is a bit of a difference between pro athletes and the actors/musicians you talk about in that we don't hear millionaire actors/musicians complain about how much they make as much as we hear that stuff from millionaire athletes. Also, when actors or musicians do act out, they usually just drag themselves down and don't have teammates to drag down with them or cause other people to get fired. Finally, as sports fans, many of us want to see loyalty from our athletes towards their teams and fans; while that may not be realistic in today's age, it is what it is and loyalty is what being a sports fan is all about.

I love music and if I had to choose between music and sports, I'd definitely take music. However, I don't feel the same way about musicians as I do about my favorite teams and players. I will always be a loyal fan of the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Cowboys, through good and bad years, but as for my favorite bands or musicians, I can just not buy any albums they put out that I don't like and listen to something else. When it comes to sports, I'm sure as heck not going to become a fan of another team because the Red Sox choked this past season and I can't ignore the players who I feel were responsible for that, especially when I'll have to look at them in a Sox uniform next season.

So, I do agree that athletes are often unfairly attacked for some stuff and those attacks are often way over the top, but that comparison really doesn't work too well; they're completely different worlds. Good or bad, fair or unfair, this stuff comes with the territory of being a pro athlete in American sports and if pro athletes didn't know that before they went pro, they must have had their heads in the sand.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:23 pm

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

Volfan14... Maybe you are miserable and jealous of Pro Athletes, but the majority of people are not... I'm a hard working man and I realize that sports is their job just like I have my job to do...  The majority of the pro athletes take their jobs very seriously but there are some spoiled brats like Cousins... Just like I am sure there are some jerkoffs are your place of employment...

So do limit your "sickened"  feelings to all entertainers, who make a lot of money, or do you save it all for Pro Athletes? Do you hate actors who make a lot of money? And don't for get those Rock Stars, they make a lot of money too...

Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:43 am

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

Cousins is a spoiled punk child! He was probably a diva in high school and definately was a diva in college at UK under the "No child stays behind" coaching philosphy of Calipari.

All pro sports athletes should be paid a base salary with incentives for big $$$$$$$. That way, either put up or shut up and don't let the dow hit yu in the ***.

Pro athletes are sickening to hard working, responsible working class Americans that have to be on time every day, do a good job and hope and pray your employer allows you to continue working each day!

I think a summer of working as a mason's helper or home painter would help Mr. Cousins realize how fortunate he has it now!

Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 3:04 am

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

There are a few great coaches in the league.....Hollins, Pop, Adleman again, Carlisle, Brooks., collins....and a few in between......Monty Williams, and maybe Skiles. And some idiots.....Westpahl was a terrible coach. Only Rambis was worse.....and maybe flip sanders and Del Negro. But westphal hadnt won...had no system....the guys were frustrated. Having said that, Cousins was a known problem before Sac drafted him. Everyone in basketball circles knew this. Had Boston or LA or even a Portland taken him....then maybe MAYBE he would have some guidance and structure. He's a kid remember, and a spoiled self involved kid, a millionaire on top of it; so what did the Kings expect? Will he continue to be a jerk? Maybe and maybe not. Z-Bo grew up....Rasheed to a degree......but Cousins Im doubtful about, and certainly doubtful about him if he stays a King.

Since: Dec 9, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:24 pm

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

I hope Cousins blow out both knees and is out of the league in two years. He is a spoiled punk. 

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2012 8:11 am

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

Some team that is truely desparate, and I do mean DESPARATE, for someone that can give you 15 points and 12 rebounds while still having the tude to be pissed at everyone and everything, will give up young players and draft choices for someone like Cousins.  Don't just think in terms of a Rashid Wallace, but more like Zach Randolph.  He was available for just his contract a few years ago.  Everyone laughed when the Clips took him on from NY and were totally having a cow when Memphis then acquired him (although I believe both needed his salary to meet the NBA minimums).  Also, bigs develop later in their careers;  look at the history of Tyson Chandler, previously a borderline dud, now a saviour.  That is why people like Darko and Kwame keep getting contracts to the amazement of everyone.

My guess is that Houston has the resources to make Sactown a very attractive offer.

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: January 7, 2012 12:47 am Anaheim....

Cousins will go to Anaheim with the ret of the Kings. More importantly, only about 17 people in Sacramento even give a damn.

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 9:54 pm

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

I could definitely see Cousins playing in Boston in the near future.  They need a good, young Center, especially with an aging big 3.  Cousins definitely needs some guidance from guys like Garnett, Pierce, Rondo, and Rivers.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2012 8:11 pm

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

Every league is a superstars different than the movie or music industry. People care about the stars, not the B list.

The player is more important than the coach. The coach is always expendable, the player always isn't. Especially a player who has the potential to be a perennial All Star. The team was playing terrible under Westphal, being blown out by 20+ up until there come back win last night in which they actually resembled a team. No one thinks the Kings will make the playoffs this year, but they should at the least be competitive. 

Since: Jul 5, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 7:49 pm

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

hey royce young ur wrong, cousins IS the problem and everyone knows it.  everyone knows it because it is so blatantly obvious.

also, it is not a 'players league', not by any stretch of the imagination.

it is a 'superstars league'. 

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