HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

DeMarcus Cousins' altercation with coach Keith Smart led to his suspension. He has been held out of games for disciplinary reasons in each of his three seasons.

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  • COUSINS BEHAVING BADLY

    Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has had issues with coaches, teammates, officials and more since being drafted by the Kings in 2010. Here's a look at some of the incidents that have led to Cousins losing approximately $300,000 in salary because of fines and suspensions.

    October 2010

    • Cousins is fined $5,000 for a verbal altercation with strength and conditioning coach Daniel Shapiro.

    December 2010

    • Cousins is fined and benched for making a choking sign after Golden State guard Reggie Williams missed a late free throw. The Kings would blow a lead and lose the game in overtime.

    February 2011

    • Cousins is fined one game check and removed from the team charter flight after a physical altercation with teammate Donte' Greene in the locker room after a loss to Oklahoma City. Cousins was upset Greene didn't pass him the ball late in the game.

    January 2012

    • Kings coach Paul Westphal sends Cousins home before a game after the coach said the center demanded to be traded for the second time during the season. Cousins said he never asked to be traded.

    April 2012

    • Cousins is fined $25,000 for publicly criticizing officials. Cousins said L.A. Clippers star Blake Griffin was "babied" by the NBA and officials during games.

    • Cousins has to have his 13th technical foul rescinded to avoid a suspension for reaching the league limit during the lockout-shortened season.

    November 2012

    • Cousins leaves the locker room after a loss to San Antonio to confront television analyst Sean Elliott. Cousins is suspended for two games by the NBA for a "hostile" confrontation with Elliott, who Cousins was told had been critical during the telecast.

    December 2012

    • Cousins is suspended one game for hitting Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo in the groin. Cousins said the contact was accidental.

    • The Kings suspend Cousins indefinitely for unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team following a verbal altercation with coach Keith Smart at halftime of Friday's game. Cousins is not allowed back on the bench for the second half of the game.

    – Jason Jones

Fed-up Kings suspend Cousins indefinitely

Published: Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 - 8:35 pm

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."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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