Jose Luis Villegas /

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins argues with referee Courtney Kirkland after picking up his third foul in the second quarter of Tuesday against the Houston Rockets. Kirkland would call two technical fouls and eject Cousins from the game during the third quarter.

One more technical foul and Kings’ Cousins will be suspended

Published: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Saturday, Mar. 1, 2014 - 5:00 pm

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 Tuesday’s 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 can’t 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 shouldn’t have happened.”

Malone said Cousins is aware he can’t put himself in those situations.

“But the challenge is knowing you can’t 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 I’m here to see that because if he’s 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 it’s going to be before he gets that one,” Malone joked. “On a serious note, he’s aware he’s too important to this team. When you’re the franchise player, you can’t put yourself in position to get thrown out of a game. And as bad as you feel when you’re not getting the calls, you have to find a way to move past that and harness that emotion. And that’s his challenge right now.”

Cousins believes he’s held to a different standard than other players. It’s not that his teammates aren’t called for technical fouls. Isaiah Thomas and Jason Thompson are both among the league leaders with seven technical fouls each. But Cousins said he’s treated differently, making it difficult to know which behaviors to modify.

“Let me just be honest,” Cousins said. “A lot of technicals I receive aren’t (deserved). So I really can’t say what I can do different. Maybe just not show up for the game. I really can’t answer that question.”

Malone, however, reiterated Cousins needs to mature more to maximize his potential.

“He’s a talented, emotional player, which is fine, but how do you handle that emotion? There’s going to be adversity, so you can’t look to avoid adversity. He’s going to have to look to find a way to get comfortable with adversity, handle it and control it. When he gets that, we’ll 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.

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at

Read more articles by Jason Jones

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