For all the drama on and off the court last season, DeMarcus Cousins made it to the season finale before picking up his 16th technical foul. Because it came in the last game of the season, the one-game suspension that is attached to the 16th technical foul in a season was waived.
This season, Cousins has 25 games to avoid a one-game banishment after picking up his 14th and 15th technical fouls for arguiing with the officials during Tuesdays lopsided loss to the Houston Rockets at Sleep Train Arena. A one-game suspension would be assessed for every two technicals after No. 16, along with a fine for each technical.
Cousins was asked how he will avoid another technical foul. He leads the league in technicals this season.
I cant really answer that, Cousins said Wednesday. Hope for the best.
The Kings need more than hope to keep Cousins on the floor. Coach Michael Malone said he will do what he can, including having technicals called on himself to take attention away from Cousins.
Malone was trying to do that Tuesday when Cousins left the bench to confront referee Courtney Kirkland after he received the first technical foul. That backfired.
Coach got mad, so I got madder, Cousins said. Just a bad situation that shouldnt have happened.
Malone said Cousins is aware he cant put himself in those situations.
But the challenge is knowing you cant do that after the fact and stopping yourself from doing that at all, Malone said. When and if he gets to that point, I hope Im here to see that because if hes ever able to mature to that point and harness those emotions and use them in a positive way, then you will have a true consistent force to reckon with.
Cousins has needed the NBA to rescind a technical foul the past two seasons to avoid a suspension. Both cases, however, came later in the season.
Considering the rate Cousins has picked up technical fouls this season, his 16th and beyond seems inevitable unless he figures out how to remain calm on the court.
A lot of guys on the team are taking bets on how long its going to be before he gets that one, Malone joked. On a serious note, hes aware hes too important to this team. When youre the franchise player, you cant put yourself in position to get thrown out of a game. And as bad as you feel when youre not getting the calls, you have to find a way to move past that and harness that emotion. And thats his challenge right now.
Cousins believes hes held to a different standard than other players. Its not that his teammates arent called for technical fouls. Isaiah Thomas and Jason Thompson are both among the league leaders with seven technical fouls each. But Cousins said hes treated differently, making it difficult to know which behaviors to modify.
Let me just be honest, Cousins said. A lot of technicals I receive arent (deserved). So I really cant say what I can do different. Maybe just not show up for the game. I really cant answer that question.
Malone, however, reiterated Cousins needs to mature more to maximize his potential.
Hes a talented, emotional player, which is fine, but how do you handle that emotion? Theres going to be adversity, so you cant look to avoid adversity. Hes going to have to look to find a way to get comfortable with adversity, handle it and control it. When he gets that, well have a hell of a player on our hands.
New addition The Kings signed guard Orlando Johnson to a 10-day contract.
Johnson was a second-round draft pick of the Kings in 2012 before being traded to Indiana for cash. Indiana waived Johnson last week.