BY TREVOR GOULD, Couchsideshow.com writer
When it comes to appearances, NBA players perfectly define the physical expectations associated with adulthood. They are towering athletic specimens boasting huge wingspans, broad shoulders, and muscular legs. They perform their sport with such a natural fluidity and grace that it appears easy and effortless. Yet beneath their adult exteriors, many of them possess the minds of children. Nowhere else is this better exemplified then within the spoiled little psyche of second year Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins,whose immature and selfish behavior is already starting to tear his team’s rebuilding efforts to shreds.
Cousins made national sports headlines last week for losing his cool and engaging coach Paul Westphal in a shouting match demanding to be traded. Westphal reacted by sending Cousins home and issued the following statement:
“Everything that happens on a team does not become known to the public. This is how it should be. However, when a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely.”
Just a few days later, Westphal was fired and replaced by Keith Smart. This is just the beginning of the damage Cousins is going to inflict on Sacramento.
Now there were decently logical grounds for firing Westphal: a 2-5 record, past trade demands by multiple other players, and inconsistent team growth. Yet, we all know the reason he was truly fired: he couldn’t build a solid relationship with their 21-year old center of the future.
Westphal had enough on his plate trying to revive a franchise whose legacy was synonymous with underachievement and defeat. He had to manage and control a roster of young talents and at the same time build them into a post-season caliber squad. The last thing he needed was the petulance and immaturity frothing from the mouth of DeMarcus Cousins, the franchise’s crown jewel who they’ll stop at nothing to please. Westphal is only the first casualty of the cancer that is DeMarcus Cousins.
Westphal wasn’t the only individual within the Kings organization who was unhappy with Cousins’ attitude and demeanor.