Jose Luis Villegas / jvillegas@sacbee.com

Chuck Hayes (44) of the Toronto Raptors goes to the basket against former teammate DeMarcus Cousins (15) of the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, February 5, 2014 during the game between the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors at Sleep Train Arena, in Sacramento, Calif.

Poll

Why isn't the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins a All-Star?

Leading Off: Cousins has All-Star creds – just not rep

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 - 7:40 am

Imagine if the NBA All-Star Game rosters – starters and reserves – were based solely on statistics.

No name. No face. No reputation.

Just per-game statistics through the first half of a season.

Would Kobe Bryant, who barely has played enough for the Lakers this season to need a shower, have been voted as a starter for the Western Conference?

Of course not.

Would DeMarcus Cousins, who has the best stats of his career in his fourth NBA season with the Kings, be on the West roster?

Absolutely.

But statistics are one thing, and a player’s name and reputation are a different story.

That’s why Bryant – recognized as one of the best in the game, injured or not – was selected as a starter, and Cousins – whose rep continues to be as a grimacing, technical-foul magnet who calls opponents “clowns” – will need a ticket to get into the game.

The kick to the teeth came Friday when new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver overlooked Cousins’ stats (22.7 points, 11.7 rebounds) and picked New Orleans second-year big man Anthony Davis (20.7, 10.4) to replace Bryant on the West roster, giving the host city a representative.

But really, Davis is better than Cousins?

Cousins’ reaction on Twitter? “Politics ... ha!”

While Cousins has worked to improve his image as a team leader, to keep his head up and technicals down, his past transgressions still haunt him.

Cousins is finding, fair or not, that improving his reputation is harder than improving his statistics.


Today’s poll

Why isn’t the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins an All-Star?

• He’s not good enough.

• He has a bad reputation.

• He plays on a last-place team.

• He has little national exposure.

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports


Weekend poll results

Should the 49ers give Colin Kaepernick a huge contract extension?

• Yes, he’s earned it: 37%

• No, he’s not worth it: 15%

• Not yet, wait until his contract runs out: 48%

Total votes: 413

Read more articles by Victor Contreras



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