Sorry Demarcus, you can’t run away from what you started in Sacramento. Verbally abusing coaches, teammates, management, fans, reporters, and referees for seven straight years warrants serious consequences – ones Cousins won’t be able to elude in New Orleans.
This is how society works. A bad reputation can’t be reversed with simple maneuvers or changes in scenery. Referees will still target the big man, coaches will still struggle to maintain order, and teammates will still be uneasy to approach and correct his shortcomings. He’s still a complete disaster in the locker room and that will take
months years to overturn.
Another abhorrent professional, Skip Bayless, found a way to sum it up best:
“There’s not a segment of our society where track record doesn’t come into play. If you’re a convicted felon, you’re going to be held to a different standard, you’re going to be judged differently than somebody with a clean record….I think the league has basically declared war, through the referees, from the home office in New York City, on Demarcus.”
Bayless was right. The NBA realized that 112 career technicals, over $900K in fines, and a bounty of suspensions won’t be enough to corral their feature center. He must now face a band of officials ready and willing to take Cousins out of the game. If league rules are upheld, his 18th technical on Sunday will result in a one-game suspension, forcing Boogie to miss Wednesday’s contest against the Pistons.
So how will Cousins respond in the face of war? If all indicators ring true, he’ll do absolutely nothing this season. Cousins has neither adapted to league rules, nor respected the silver lining of ethics in professional sports. He doesn’t care – and it will continue to cost his team games for the foreseeable future.
To come full circle, Cousins has a long road ahead of him if he wants to step out of the shadows in Sacramento. He must cultivate fruitful relations with local media, demonstrate a revered respect for head coach Alvin Gentry, and most importantly, remind people that he has some capability of controlling himself.
Let’s never forget how valuable a 28-11 big man can be, but let’s definitely not forget how problematic he is for the NBA, its fans, coaches, and referees.
(Photo Credit via Scott Mecum)