Tag:DeMarcus Cousins
Posted on: February 16, 2012 8:51 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 8:52 pm
 

NBA holds Rising Stars draft for rookies, sophs

By Matt Moore 

The NBA held the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge draft Thursday night, the first time the two selected celebrity coaches would draft their own teams from the available pool of eligible selected rookies and sophomores. Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley alternated picks on a live telecast on NBATV, with Barkley coming away with a well-rounded, not-as-star-studded roster and Shaq essentially taking Blake Griffin, Greg Monroe and a bunch of guards. 

Jeremy Lin was a late addition to the pool, along with Norris Cole, after Lin's meteoric rise to stardom created a public outcry to place Lin into the competition. 

Notable from the selections were O'Neal taking Blake Griffin first overall, John Wall sliding to the seventh pick, Lin going second overall to O'Neal's team and an amazing instance of serendipity as Charles Barkley, a brash, rebounding, aggressive big man took DeMarcus Cousins, who is very much in line with the traits Barkley possessed at his age. 

Kyrie Irving going first for Barkley's team shows how strongly most consider the sharpshooting Rookie of the Year leader. 


2012 NBA Rising Stars Challenge

TEAM SHAQ

VS.

TEAM CHUCK

Blake Griffin

VS.

Kyrie Irving

Jeremy Lin

VS.

DeMarcus Cousins

Ricky Rubio

VS.

Gordon Hayward

Markieff Morris

VS.

Paul George

Greg Monroe

VS.

Derrick Williams

Landry Fields

VS.

MarShon Brooks

Norris Cole

VS.

John Wall

Kemba Walker

VS.

Tiago Splitter

Brandon Knight

VS.

Evan Turner

Tristan Thompson

VS.

Kawhi Leonard

Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:43 am
Edited on: February 15, 2012 9:11 am
 

Report Card 2.15.12: Devastating fun

LeBron James produced a lot of points in not a lot of minutes vs. the Pacers. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore
 

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Miami Heat You were expecting Linsanity, weren't you? A buzzer-beater over the Raptors with 8 turnovers won't get you an A around these parts. But absolutely demolishing the Pacers, being up 20 in the second quarter on? Yeah, that'll do. The Heat were in full-on Flying Death Machine mode Tuesday night. They just ran the Pacers out of the building and out into the night, never to be heard from again. LeBron James 23-9-7 in 33 minutes in the win.
Jeremy Lin I want to give Lin an A as much as you probably want me to. But eight turnovers are eight turnovers, and 9-20 shooting is 9-20 shooting. It's not bad. It's just not great, and that, with the turnovers and the struggle with splitting the double renders us unable to give him a top grade. Something tells me he'll take it. But seriously. What a shot.
Memphis Grizzlies The Rockets were exhausted on a road game at the end of a long stretch of games, Kevin Martin was scoreless for the first time in a long, long time, and yet this was a five-point game under five minutes. The Grizzlies did enough to win, and they get the credit that goes with it. But they don't get much more than a passing grade
Phoenix Suns The Suns were chewed up by the Nuggets inside, torched from the perimeter and ran ragged. They're wholly unprepared at the worst times this season and it doesn't seem like there's much of a chance they recover this season. Steve Nash deserves better.
Portland Trail Blazers A home loss to the Wizards. I need no further justification for this grade, regardless of the health of LaMarcus Aldridge who left the game with an ankle injury.



E FOR EFFORT
LeBron James (23 points on 15 shots, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals in 33 minutes. Destroyed Indiana and got to rest.)
Jeremy Lin (27 points on 20 shots, 11 assists, 8 turnovers, one huge shot)
Jose Calderon (25 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, brilliant for 45 minutes)
DeMarcus Cousins (28 points on 20 shots and 17 rebounds in a loss to the Bulls)
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:03 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 3:05 pm
 

DeMarcus Cousins will design your Valentine's Day

By Matt Moore 


You know, when you think romance, you think DeMarcus Cousins

The surly, rambunctious, often-called bratty Cousins is not really as mean as he's made out to be, by all accounts. He may pout, sulk, and snarl on the court, but he's also known to be a bit of a goofball in the locker room, even if his immaturity rubs his teammates the wrong way at times. Also, pretty funny guy it turns out. A writer asked Cousins about what he would do for the perfect Valentine's Day date. Hilarity ensues:

 

Moonlight walks on the beach, Brian McKnight, hugs and kisses. 

DMC, you big ol' softie.
Posted on: January 15, 2012 1:30 am
Edited on: January 15, 2012 5:53 pm
 

Reports: Cousins exchanges words with cameraman

Posted by Ben Golliver  demarcus-cousins

Much-maligned Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins reportedly exchanged words with a Dallas-area cameraman following a 99-60 loss to the Mavericks on Saturday night.

Cousins, 21, reportedly took exception to having a camera pointed at him while he was dressing after the game.

The Sacramento Bee reports the details. 
Cousins was getting dressed and there was a cameraman standing in front of him and Cousins asked could he not point the camera at him while he changed. The cameraman said the camera was off, and Cousins said he still didn't want camera on him. Cameraman's reply: "whatever."

Cousins basically said, "I don't care, keep the camera off me." As cameraman leaves he makes a remark about making sure the camera was off next time he was in there. Cousins asks, "What did he say?" and stands up. Isaiah Thomas grabbed Cousins by his sweatshirt to say, "Calm down." 

At no point did Cousins try to go after the cameraman. Cousins then gathered his belongings and left the locker room.
The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reported that Cousins "had to be restrained from going after a Dallas media cameraman."

A 2010 lottery pick, Cousins has been under the microscope during his two seasons in Sacramento, especially recently. Earlier this month, he was at the center of major controversy in Sacramento when former Kings coach Paul Westphal was fired less than a week after he suspended Cousins for allegedly demanding a trade.

Back in February 2011, Cousins was suspended by the team for reportedly getting into a fight with teammate Donte Greene after a game.

Cousins' reputation obviously does him no favors here. Unless it's a star player or someone with a track record of bad behavior, this incident likely gets quickly forgotten and probably goes unreported. Couins may very well leave this situation thinking he did nothing wrong by requesting his privacy and that the entire thing is being overblown simply by being talked about at all. But that's one of the burdens of being blessed with star-type talent. All eyes are on you, even after a difficult loss and even when you would rather not talk to anyone or have a camera anywhere near you.

NBA veterans realize that these ticky-tack situations are never worth the trouble. The risk/reward of sniping at someone in the social media-driven, all-access 21st century environment of the NBA is totally out of balance. It's all downside, and, eventually, one would think Cousins will reach that conclusion. The only question is when.

Cousins had 12 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes during the loss to the Mavericks.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:14 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 2:16 am
 

Report Card: Heat fail crunch-time again

Posted by Royce Young



Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments.

New York Knicks

You have to give credit to the Knicks. They've been up and down so far this season but against division leader Philadelphia, the Knicks played a quality all-around game getting necessary stops, getting big games from Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire and killing the glass. Everyone was riding high on the 76er bandwagon this week, but the Knicks handled them by getting out to a 28-15 first quarter and never looked back.

DeMarcus Cousins

The embattled big man had himself a ball game against the Raptors. Yeah, it was the Raptors who aren't typically strong inside, but Cousins put up 21 points and 19 boards. That's the type of stuff that makes him worth picking over a coach, no matter what the issues may be. Cousins has serious talent no matter what's going on in his head. If he can ever start channeling it properly, the guy is going to be a beast.

Kobe Bryant

A night after going for 48, Kobe put up his 109th career 40-point game dropping a four-oh on the Jazz in a Laker overtime win. He played 43 minutes, took 31 shots (making 14), grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists on top of it all. Kobe has been as good as ever to open this season. Whether it's the German knee treatment or freedom from the Triangle, Kobe's off to an MVP-type start.

John Lucas

Playing for MVP Derrick Rose, John Lucas stepped up and scored 25 points and dished out eight assists leading the Bulls to maybe the ugliest win ever over the Wizards, 78-64. But 25-8 is 25-8. Sure, it took him 28 shots, but that has never stopped us from being impressed with Rose. I think the lesson here is that obviously it's just the Chicago system and basically you can insert any player into that point guard spot and he'll produce big numbers. Also, I'm not at all serious about that. But seriously, what the crap John Lucas?

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clips got their biggest win of the season and while it's a very nice victory, it was U-G-L-Y. Chris Paul was terrific, DeAndre Jordan wonderful (six blocks), but the Clipper bench provided only eight points and Blake Griffin struggled, scoring just two baskets in the second half. It's a great win for the Clippers and something for them to build on, but it wasn't exactly a clean victory.

Mavericks beat the Celtics 90-85

A big game between two very high profile teams with big stars. It should be a good one, right? But the game was just ugly all over. Missed free throws, bad offense, sloppy play -- it wasn't pretty. It was close though and got entertaining late as Dirk completed a three-point play to put the Mavericks over the top, but you were watching two potentially over-the-hill teams look very much like it for 48 minutes.

Offense

Across the league tonight, only a couple games saw a team score 100 points. There were a bunch of games played in the 80s and a few with totals down in the 70s. The Wizards scored 64 total and the Hawks scored only nine in a quarter for crying out loud. It's the way life is in a lockout shortened season I guess, but man, there has been some ugly offense lately.

Crunch-time Heat

On a second consecutive night the Heat essentially choked in crunch-time. They missed 14 free throws (including eight from LeBron, four in the fourth quarter) and went nearly 12 minutes without a basket spanning the fourth quarter and overtime. And the one basket they finally got? It was a 3 from Mario Chalmers. We all make a big deal about this fourth quarter stuff with Miami, but it's a thing. You can't ignore it. Going almost a quarter's worth of basketball without a hoop is a problem.

Washington Wizards

Sixty-four points? Really? I mean, really? Are they even trying to score? Yeah, it was against the Bulls who are a great defensive team, but geez. Thirty-one percent from the floor, only one quarter over 20 points and only 27 points total in the second half? The Wizards terrible. Just terrible.

Injuries

Al Horford went down with a shoulder injury that could cost him a month or more. And he's just the latest in a long line of players getting dinged up. Blame it on the condensed schedule with no camp or just coincidence, but it has seemed like the injury bug has been biting quite a bit this season.

Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:44 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 8:00 pm
 

3-on-2: The Cousins Complication

3-on-2 explores the answers to two questions from each of our three bloggers on EOB. This week's topic? DeMarcus Cousins and the firing of Paul Westphal. 

1. Is DeMarcus Cousins worth the hassle for the Kings, specifically?

Ben Golliver: This was an excellent question to ask... before the 2010 NBA Draft. Now it's pretty much too late with things having evolved along a worst case scenario since the Kings opted to take the plunge. Cousins hasn't matured, he hasn't produced in such overwhelming volume that would make his pouting and off-court distractions worth putting up with and he hasn't played either so well that he is truly tradeable or so poorly that, a la Hasheem Thabeet, Sacramento can just cut ties and move on without him. Sacramento is stuck with him now whether he's worth the hassle or not. A new coach can bring a second lease on life to players who act out like he has. It's a possibility worth praying for in this case but don't bank on it.

Royce Young: Yes, for now. Cousins isn't guaranteed to be the problem. Sometimes players and coaches simply don't get along. Players with attitudes like Cousins can be successful in the league as long as they fit in and are part of a culture they fit. See: Wallace, Rasheed. Cousins has enough talent to wait it out. Keith Smart will be more of a players' coach than Westphal so if Cousins clashes with him and is clearly disrupting the locker room and bringing down the attitude and development of the team, that's when you part ways.

Matt Moore: Not for this team, I'm convinced. Cousins has the potential to be an NBA All-Star but he needs rigid structure. He has to have a team that puts very specific limits on his behavior, without doing so confrontationally. He needs veteran leadership to set an example for him. (COUGH* BOSTON* COUGH.) The Kings are in too much flux to hang on to him. He has great value, and you never want to give up on a player on a rookie contract with talent. The Kings don't need further headaches. They've created enough of their own.

2. Does firing Westphal after the Cousins incident this week set a dangerous precedent? If so, why, if not, why not?

Golliver: Firing Westphal was Sacramento taking a not-particularly-expensive stand against ineffective coaching and terrible relationship management. It was clear from Sacramento's second game of the season that the Kings weren't playing for him. Bigger than any individual player who winds up looking like a coach-killer or feeling like he can do whatever he wants with no repercussions is the message that you send to every player if you keep Westphal around as a lame duck. That message would be: "We're totally cool with totally sucking." New coach Keith Smart will need to work immediately to lay new ground rules for both DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, who hasn't played to his capabilities this year, or Sacramento will be coach-hunting again before they know it.

Young: It only seems that way because Geoff Petrie for some reason allowed Westphal to send out that trade demand press release last week. Without that, we're probably talking about why Westphal was fired because over two-plus seasons he'd only won 50 games. You never want the appearance that a player got a coach fired, but remember, Jerry Sloan kind of sort of retired partly because of Deron Williams and that situation. It's not really anything new. It's an ugly situation and it kind of scares Cousins' already tarnished reputation, but it happens. It's a players league. Always has been and always will be.

Moore: Allowing the entire debacle paints the picture. Cousins didn't want to play for Westphal. Now he won't. The better approach would have been to recognize that Cousins was a bigger part of the Kings' future than Paul Westphal. Because the result is a situation that may have been justifiable, and yet still looks bad and makes management seem weak with regards to the next time a player becomes disgruntled.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:26 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 9:29 pm
 

Kings sign Smart as head coach... for two years?



By Matt Moore


So Paul Westphal was fired today as head coach of the Sacramento Kings. That's not really surprising, given the disappointing start to the season for the Kings and the continuing discord between Westphal, star power forward DeMarcus Cousins, and the general unrest in the locker room. Assistant coach Keith Smart was assigned as head coach for the time being, then immediately upgraded to interim coach. OK, that makes sense. Smart's been interim coach for two different teams in the past, has a lot of experience, and the Kings could use a steady hand and won't want to pay the money to essentially bring on a second coach when they have to pay out the rest of Westphal's contract. 

This all makes a modicum of sense, at least in the way that most NBA things do. 

But then there's this.

Yahoo Sports reports that the Kings have signed Smart for two years, with the deal guaranteed through 2013.

Sorry, come again?

The Kings have just committed to two years of a very qualified, very well-respected interim coach...who went 36-46 with the Warriors last year. The Kings are in a crucial position right now. They have to get Cousins back on the track to not only calming down emotionally, but contributing efficiently on the court. Tyreke Evans has to get sorted out because his game is mess right now. Marcus Thornton has to learn how to play off the ball. The team has to learn what a pass is. There's a world of work to be done, and if it goes wrong, it's going to set the franchise back another two to three seasons. 

Which is why you don't buy the cow just because you know it can produce milk of some kind.

I want to be clear, it's not that Smart can't work out. For all we know this could wind up as a genius signing if Smart pulls a Thunder Brooks and takes the team to the next level. It's a different situation entirely in a lot of ways but "young team with talent struggles, fires its coach and finds its answer from within" is not an impossible scenario. But you want to leave yourself an out.

Putting Smart in for the rest of the year gives you the ability to look for an upgrade at season's end. If someone is looking to get back into coaching and likes what he's seen of the Kings and is an upgrade on Smart, why not take a look at him? If Smart really does excel, you can always re-sign him or extend him. Even make the second year non-guaranteed. It's great to give a coach your confidence and the ability to coach without fear for his job. But you're not worried about this year in terms of wins and losses. You're worried about the next four years. 

The terrifying element behind this for Kings fans is that it seems financially-related. Getting Smart now at a cheap price keeps their costs low.  It seems like a move made not for what's best for the team, but to cover for the financial impact of Westphal without risking Smart's price going up. And for a team in the Kings' situation, they can't afford to not afford what's best for the organization.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 2:35 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 2:49 pm
 

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

Posted by Royce Young

It seemed it was only a matter of time.

The Sacramento Kings announced the firing of head coach Paul Westphal Thursday, according to a release from the team.

“I want to thank Paul for all of his effort on behalf of the Kings,” said general manager Geoff Petrie. “Unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Assistant Keith Smart, who was the head coach of the Warriors last season, will take over interim duties for the Kings.

While the Kings have come out of the gates slowly while also looking disorganized at times, it's hard not to think that this had more to do with DeMarcus Cousins than anything else. The Kings picked Cousins. It's really as simple as that.

Westphal seemed to be at constant odds with the talented big man from Kentucky, suspending him last season for a locker room scuffle with a teammate, benching him for mocking an opponent and then suspending him again this season for reportedly yelling "Trade me!" following a game. Westphal even had the team's PR staff send out a release on his behalf announcing that Cousins demanded a trade.

Westphal though seems to be handling the firing with class.

“I would like to thank the Maloof family for the incredible opportunity they gave me to participate in the attempt to bring the Sacramento Kings back to prominence," Westphal said in the release. “While the job is far from finished, I am proud of the strides we were able to make. Geoff Petrie and his staff have been nothing but honest and supportive throughout my time here. They are first class in every way and I wish them nothing but success. My hope is to see the fans of the Kings and the city of Sacramento rewarded with many years of great basketball."
 
Teams fire coaches in these situations out of fear for their young talent. If it's perceived that young players are seeing their growth stunted by a stubborn head coach or just a guy that's not connecting with them, he's out. The Thunder did that very early on after a little more than a season with P.J. Carlesimo. You don't mess around when you're trying to develop young players.

Consider a young player like Jimmer Fredette who has walked into this situation and is trying to learn how to play NBA basketball with all this dysfunction around him. It can't be easy.

But it's hard to shake the Cousins situations. There's no question that Cousins is an immature, strong-headed player. Following a game this season where he was asked about the team's offense he snapped sarcastically, "What offense?" So you can understand Westphal's frustration, especially since he's a veteran coach that has been around the league for a long time. It just wasn't a fit. The team probably wasn't responding to him in practice, they looked disjointed and unorganized on the court and it was time for a change. I bet Westphal is actually relieved. 

Last season in December, there was a report out that Westphal had "all but lost his team" but managed to survive the season. Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com wrote this though last night after the Kings got pasted by the Nuggets: "Other than that, the Kings did a great impression of a team that has quit on its coach. How else to explain 2-for-20 shooting from deep, 32.6 percent shooting overall, plus 12 assists and 17 turnovers as a team? The Kings either quit on Westphal or they're playing like they're afraid he's going to write another press release about him." A few hours later, he's gone. 

Plus, you can't ignore the Kings situation in Sacramento. They are looking to get a new building financed or they could be moving to Anaheim. A lame duck coach with a team that hates itself isn't exactly the way to drum up public support.

Westphal was the coach of the team for two-plus seasons and had a record of just 51-120. He was in the final year of his contract with Sacramento this season.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com