In what can only be referred to as a shocking development, news is slowly leaking out that Sacramento Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins has serious attitude problems. Yes, the No. 5 pick from the 2010 NBA Draft has apparently earned his reputation as a malcontent already in his short tenure in Sacramento.
Cousins has reportedly clashed with coaches and several of his teammates have complained privately about his attitude. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported earlier in the week that Cousins has proved to be extremely difficult to handle and he has already been fined for clashing with members of the coaching staff.
This comes even after head coach Paul Westphal hired Cousins’ former high school coach, Otis Hughley, for the express purpose of keeping Cousins focused and motivated.
Over the summer stories of Cousins’ immaturity and attitude issues surfaced and have not stopped bubbling up.
Cousins was thought of as a sure-fire top five talent coming out of Kentucky after he led the SEC in rebounding in his only collegiate season. But on Chad Ford’s pre-draft evaluation, the negatives for the 6’11, 292-pound behemoth read as follows: Questionable motor. Lacks great conditioning. Not an explosive leaper. Can be an indifferent defender. And one of Ford’s positives reads like a negative: Good athlete when in shape.
Those scream to me a lack of commitment. Cousins was clearly always a guy who could get by on his tremendous natural talent. Now, when he actually has to listen to coaches and fellow teammates and get into better shape to continue his development, he’s lashing out. How anyone didn’t see this coming is beyond me.
The fact that Cousins hasn’t grasped the opportunity he has on a rebuilding team like Sacramento says a lot. He has recently been relegated to the bench behind Samuel Dalembert and will likely have to earn his way back into the starting rotation by growing up and actually listening to those around him.
After averaging 25.3 minutes and 13.3 points, and 7.3 rebounds per game through the first three contests of the season, Cousins hasn’t topped 23 minutes in any of the last four. His averages are down to 18.5 minutes, 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in over those games.