Finally, Vlade Divac suspended DeMarcus Cousins.
Now, can the Kings’ general manager do the right thing and get him out of here?
Trade him, cut him, whatever. It would be a steal if the Kings could get 50 cents on the dollar, a bargain at 35 cents and a good deal at a quarter. Maybe even a nickel.
Sometimes in life, you add by subtraction, like when you have a corn on your toe. Removal can be absolute relief.
The time has come for the Kings to reach that conclusion about Cousins. They have never won with him, and there is no reason to believe they ever will, or that they will be able to put together a team in the holistic flow of the word until they make the difficult decision to move him, regardless of his undisputed and overvalued talent.
His recent suspension, like his others, resulted from his disrespect for the game and many of the people who play, coach, officiate and work around it. This time, he ripped on Kings coach George Karl for not protecting him from the refs. Please. What Cousins wanted his coach to do was support his bad behavior. But what Cousins needs to do is change that bad behavior. The Kings’ new upper-level managers have enabled it for three years. Now they’re going to be stuck with his bad vibe when they move into their new arena in October unless they wise up and cut him loose.
Cousins was suspended for Friday’s game against Orlando because of a series of events in the middle of the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s loss to Cleveland. He didn’t get a foul call, then he got called for one. When Cousins went crazy over the juxtaposition, referee James Williams popped him with his 15th technical foul, most in the league.
Less than a minute later, Cousins missed another shot from close range, thought he was fouled and failed to hustle back on defense – something we’ve seen before. The Cavaliers sprinted the other way and took three shots, grabbed two rebounds and finally scored on a putback – before Cousins made it past midcourt.
Karl called timeout, and during the break Cousins blew up on the bench, screaming at the coaches and needing to be restrained by one of them. Cousins continued the tirade aimed at Karl in front of his teammates after the game, with his usual accompaniment of profane invective. It’s the second time this year he’s done that. Divac gave him a pass in November, despite Karl’s insistence on a suspension. This time, Divac toughened up.
Now Divac has to toughen up some more and move Cousins out.
Divac told reporters Thursday the suspension was intended to “send a message” to his two-time All-Star, that “we cannot tolerate some stuff.” Divac characterized Cousins as “emotionally overwhelmed,” but “a good kid.” Maybe that’s the case with Cousins away from the court.
Unfortunately for fans, players, coaches and refs, they have to endure the persona he presents on and around it.
Asked Thursday if he was thinking about trading Cousins, Divac first replied, “When?” In the offseason, came the amplification on the question. “I don’t think so,” Divac said. “We’ll still work with him.”
After he was suspended, Cousins put a cartoon on Instagram that depicted two men sitting at separate tables underneath banners reading “comfortable lies” and “unpleasant truths.” The line for the lie stretched out of the frame. Nobody wanted to hear the truth.
This might come as an unpleasant truth to Cousins, but the No. 1 person in this world who can protect him from his own behavior is himself. Most people begin to learn this about the seventh grade. Cousins, however, prefers to blame others while he spins out of control. It is part of the comfortable lie he’s been telling himself for six years.
As long as he’s talking about the truth, Cousins needs to know one thing about it – that it’s derived from facts. It’s a fact Cousins is blessed with immense physical talent. It’s a fact he has not been able to overcome his bad behavior. It’s a fact he has squandered his leadership role on this team. It’s a fact he drags down the team.
It was nice to see Cousins, in one of his suspension-day postings, choose the words of Pastor Rick Warren. A Christian conservative, Warren also is a unifier who sought to bring together a polarized country seven years ago when he delivered the invocation at the first inaugural of the newly elected liberal president, Barack Obama.
“A lie doesn’t become truth,” Warren’s quote read, “wrong doesn’t become right & evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority.”
What an insult that Cousins would use the words of a revered preacher to wrongly suggest he is the victim of evil in the calls by many that he be held accountable for his own sorry actions.
A third posting put up by Cousins read, “One thing about them tables … they ALWAYS turn.”
The hope here is they do turn for Cousins, and they turn in his favor, but the turnings take place somewhere else, because they never will here.