NBA -- The Kings' royal dilemma
By Alberto G. Montefalcon, Jr.
Thu, 27 Dec 2012
SACRAMENTO -- At 6-foot-11, 270 pounds, DeMarcus Cousins is undoubtedly one of the best big men in the NBA today. At age 22, his capacity for greatness is almost limitless.
Almost, because the supremely talented center can't seem to avoid trouble.
Over a quarter into this 2012-13 season, Cousins has already been suspended three times, twice by the NBA and one by his team, the Sacramento Kings. His first league mandated suspension was a result of his "hostile" altercation with San Antonio Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott. The second suspension was for allegedly hitting Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo.
And then on December 21, in the Kings-Clippers game at Staples Center, Cousins had a heated verbal confrontation with head coach Keith Smart. He was asked to stay in the locker room during the halftime break and was subsequently suspended indefinitely by the Kings the following day. Although Cousins has since been reinstated on December 24, he did not travel with Sacrmanto to face the Blazers in Portland Wednesday night.
Coach Smart told the Sacramento Bee that reinstatement meant Cousins is allowed to practice, it doesn't necessarily mean he can play.
The team's leading scorer (16.6 points per game) and rebounder ( 9.5 per game) there is no doubting the value of Cousins to Sacramento. And barring serious injuries at just age 22, the University of Kentucky alum could be the cornerstone of the franchise for many years to come.
The question is, how much off-court antics can the Kings put up with? And is that huge talent really worth it when he threatens to destroy team morale?
When his rookie contract expires after next season, Cousins, who makes $3.8 million a year, will become a free agent.
Will the Kings keep him on a long-term deal worth millions or will they just trade him and move on? Heck, will he even stay a King as the trading deadline this coming February nears? (AGM, JR)
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Alberto G. Montefalcon, Jr..
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