Leading Off

DeMarcus Cousins should have some fun in New York

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) gets his NBA All Start jersey before the Sacramento Kings game against the Phoenix Suns at Sleep Train Arena on Sun., Feb. 8, 2015.
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) gets his NBA All Start jersey before the Sacramento Kings game against the Phoenix Suns at Sleep Train Arena on Sun., Feb. 8, 2015. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Cousins should have some fun in New York

It’s been quite an up-and-down season for Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.

After the Kings got off to a quick start, coach Michael Malone’s firing made him unhappy, and the team has floundered since.

Despite the Kings’ struggles, Cousins has put up big numbers and will make his first appearance in the All-Star Game after being picked by the NBA to replace Kobe Bryant on the Western Conference team.

Over the last few days, however, he’s been thrust, perhaps unwittingly, into the spotlight as the Kings have considered hiring George Karl to replace Tyrone Corbin as coach.

Later this week, he will be in the spotlight in New York for different reasons.

On Thursday, Cousins will be on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Last June, he seemed to have a blast when was on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” during the NBA Finals.

Cousins might be stepping even more out of his comfort zone Friday night, when he participates in the NBA All-Star All-Style fashion competition at New York’s Hammerstein Theater (it airs Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on TNT). There will be three rounds: dressing for the boardroom, a night out and attire worn to a game.

Cousins will be competing against the Warriors’ Klay Thompson, the Rockets’ James Harden and five other All-Stars.

The best part: One of the judges will be Charles Barkley, the TNT analyst who said, “I’m man enough to admit that I don’t like DeMarcus Cousins, but he deserved to make the All-Star team,” after Cousins was snubbed when the reserves were announced.

Cousins will wrap up the weekend Sunday playing in his first All-Star Game.

After a week of turmoil, here’s hoping the big fella can kick back and enjoy himself for a few days.

– Tom Couzens

tcouzens@sacbee.com


What to watch I

NBA, Kings at Milwaukee, 5 p.m., CSNCA: Will this be Corbin’s final game as the Kings’ coach before being replaced by Karl?


What to watch II

NBA, Miami at Cleveland, 5 p.m., ESPN: Will LeBron James atone for a 101-91 loss on Christmas?


Worth repeating

Gary Payton on Fox Sports 1, to Cousins: “Play basketball. George Karl is your man. Make sure you know that. I’m telling you.”


On this date

1990: Mike Tyson loses for the first time when Buster Douglas knocks him out in the 10th round in Tokyo to win the heavyweight championship in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.


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