Leading Off

There’s nothing funny about Cousins’ illness

The first great invention had to be the wheel, which was followed by the light bulb. Then came the automobile, airplanes, the phone, computers and more recently the Internet.

But of all the world’s greatest inventions, the most underrated has to be the delete key.

Think of all the relationships saved and jobs kept by those writing venomous emails that were deleted and never sent when emotions were finally wrestled into submission by self preservation.

I’ve hit the delete button so often, especially in the years writing this column, the word is barely visible on my key.

Too bad I didn’t have enough sense to use it last week when I used humor – if you can call it that – to speculate on why DeMarcus Cousins was really missing games when the team reported he had a viral infection. When you start making assumptions about an athlete’s health – or any individual’s health, especially while under the care of physicians – it can only lead to poor conclusions. I learned this lesson like a cigar blowing up in my face.

The Kings’ star center is obviously more sick than anyone thought, including his team, it appears. When you have inflammation of the brain and spine, which are symptoms of viral meningitis, there is no punchline – only a punchy writer.

Cousins had been playing at an All-Star level, and he had been on his best behavior before he woke up sick in San Antonio the day after Thanksgiving. The Kings are obviously not playing as well without him, and the team isn’t as entertaining to watch.

Let’s hope Cousins returns to health soon and we can look forward to the playoffs.

Wait, delete that part about the playoffs.

▪ I wished I had used the delete key back in August when I forecasted the Raiders to beat the 49ers in Week 14 of the 2014 NFL season. If I had, I couldn’t tell you four months later I told you so. But I did.

– Victor Contreras


What to watch

NBA, Kings at Lakers, 7:30 p.m., CNSCA, NBA: It’s not often the Kings travel to Los Angeles to find the Lakers in last place in the Pacific Division.

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