DeMarcus Cousins is an emotional person. But the Kings have had enough of Cousins' emotions being the reason he lashes out at teammates and runs afoul of the league and officials.
The Kings suspended Cousins indefinitely Saturday, hours after a verbal altercation with coach Keith Smart in the locker room Friday night in Los Angeles, where the Kings lost to the Clippers.
The Kings have held Cousins out of a game for disciplinary reasons at least one time in each of his three seasons.
Cousins was informed of the decision before Saturday's practice. No timetable or parameters were given for Cousins' return to the team, and he was unavailable for comment.
The Kings host the Portland Trail Blazers tonight.
"We met with DeMarcus (Saturday) morning and talked to him about it some more," said Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie. "And we want to try some path going forward where these type of situations don't continue to present themselves."
Friday's exchange with Smart became so personal on Cousins' end that the coach benched him for the second half of the game and made him stay in the locker room.
"The events that unfolded were completely inappropriate," Petrie said.
Smart said he is trying to establish a standard for behavior and Cousins went beyond that Friday. Smart said any player would be disciplined for similar transgressions.
"When any player goes beyond that there are going to be consequences," Smart said. "And I thought (Friday) night it moved in that direction."
After Friday's game, Cousins said he was "in the wrong" and should not have responded to Smart in the manner he did.
"Something was said (to me), and I just should have stayed quiet," Cousins said Friday.
Staying quiet isn't easy for Cousins, and that has caused problems with his teammates.
Cousins said before the season he would work to improve his communication with teammates, but the feeling is the third-year center has not made strides.
Cousins has alienated teammates by yelling at them during games and with tirades during games and in the locker room.
Teammates sometimes give Cousins the ball during games rather than deal with his reaction to not getting the ball.
Cousins can be extremely demonstrative with his displeasure with teammates.
Players have also grown tired of answering questions about Cousins' actions that earn him fines and suspensions.
"Some teammates can handle certain things; some teammates pay no attention to it," Smart said. "Some it probably does affect. But I've got to see the health of our entire team and make sure all of us are healthy in this environment."
There are also concerns within the organization about Cousins' off-court behavior. The fear is Cousins' penchant for saying what he feels will draw the wrong type of attention.
It was learned Saturday that Cousins has fired his agent, John Greig, to go with Dan Fegan, who became Kevin Martin's agent before the Kings traded him in 2010.
Cousins' third suspension this season is the first by the Kings.
A hostile verbal altercation with San Antonio television analyst Sean Elliott earned Cousins a two-game suspension in November from the NBA.
After a Nov. 9 game, Cousins bypassed team security to confront Elliott, a former NBA player with San Antonio, over comments he was told were critical via text message and Twitter.
Cousins was suspended Dec. 12 for a game for hitting Dallas guard O.J. Mayo in the groin.
Cousins said he didn't mean to hit Mayo in the groin.
Petrie said the Kings remain committed to Cousins and said Smart hasn't gone the "extra mile" for Cousins, but "the extra hundred" miles.
The Kings are now looking for Cousins to reciprocate that effort.
"It's not something that just showed up yesterday, last year or two years ago or five years ago," Petrie said. "But he's our player so we want to work with him to get past this so he can be what everyone sees is possible."