DeMarcus Cousins said he tried to be mature Saturday night.
Apparently, the official who ejected him thought differently.
Cousins, who was called for his second technical foul and ejected in the third quarter of the Kings' win over Utah, said Monday he said nothing inappropriate and it was referee Gary Zielinski who was out of line.
"The referee cursed at me," Cousins said. "He told me to go (expletive) ask the other referee (about the first technical foul). I was going to say something back, kept my cool and walked away and still end up with a technical. So I still don't understand."
Cousins said after Monday's practice he "didn't say a word" to Zielinski to warrant the technical foul.
Cousins was hit with the first technical when he bumped Enes Kanter, then slapped the ball out of his hand after the whistle.
With five technicals, Cousins is tied with New York's Carmelo Anthony for the most in the league. A player is suspended when he reaches 16 technical fouls in a season.
And what did Cousins see when he watched the replay?
"It's DeMarcus Cousins, so let's 'T' him up," Cousins said.
Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie told Cousins that the league would not rescind the technical that led to his ejection.
"I don't know why because I really don't know what I did, but, hey, it's their decision," Cousins said.
The Kings now have to focus on keeping their leading scorer (16.1) and rebounder (9.6) on the court and away from situations that will take him out of games.
Cousins was suspended for two games earlier this month for leaving the locker room after a game to confront San Antonio television analyst Sean Elliott in what the league deemed a hostile manner.
Last season, Cousins had one technical foul rescinded, or he would have been suspended for a game.
Coach Keith Smart recalled what famed coach Hubie Brown once said: "The pressure of the moment pulls reasoning out of the way."
Smart hopes Cousins can grow out of these situations.
"So as he matures, hopefully those things go away," Smart said. "With some players, it does. With some players, it doesn't."
Smart said he needs to better recognize situations that might be problematic for Cousins and step in to deal with officials.
But that's not easy to do from the bench, so Smart said teammates have to be aware of what is going on, too.
"They've got to see with a call or how a person looks, and they've got to step in as well," Smart said. "He's an ultra-competitive guy, and sometimes the moment gets to him. That's when the team has to be able to rush in there and calm that down."
However, that's easier said than done.
"He's grown," guard Aaron Brooks said. "He's going to have to make better decisions. We're counting on him to."
Guard Tyreke Evans said he and his teammates try to help Cousins avoid conflict with referees. But Saturday's ejection happened suddenly as Cousins turned his back to Zielinski, so there was nothing anyone could do.
"From now on, we've got to be more aware of where he's at with the refs and talking to the refs," Evans said.
Cousins was asked if he has considered not speaking to officials, but he didn't seem to like the idea.
"If that's the case, before every game, they shouldn't say, 'If you have a problem, come talk to us,'" Cousins said, "because apparently we can't talk to them."