It happened again.
For the fourth time this season, DeMarcus Cousins was ejected from a game, this time in a 115-113 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. The latest incident happened last night when tensions rose between Cousins and Bucks small forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. late in the third quarter.
The Sacramento Kings starting center was none too pleased with Dunleavy after the veteran wing appeared to inadvertently take out his left knee while trying to box out for rebounding position. Teammates and coaching staff came onto the floor to restrain Cousins as the 22-year-old began jawing at Dunleavy and the Bucks’ bench. Following a timeout in action, the trash talk continued and both Cousins and Dunleavy were hit with technical fouls. The final straw came when Cousins elbowed Dunleavy over the head as the two jockeyed in the post in the ensuing Milwaukee possession.
Here’s video of the bump to the knee that caused the confrontation followed by the flagrant elbow that got Cousins the boot.
- In the visitor’s locker room, Dunleavy offered his take on the confrontation. His portrayal of the Kings starting center in the incident was not very flattering. “I’m not even going to begin to reason with somebody like that,” the 32-year-old veteran told reporters. “I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t even know what happened the first time around. I thought I was just trying to box him out. A bunch of bodies fell and collapsed and there was a timeout. Next thing you know, he starts barking at me. And we try to run a play and he elbows me in the head. So I don’t know.” Dunleavy also added that Cousins is “always running his mouth”.
- Kings head coach Keith Smart told reporters he was planning to take Cousins out of the game after he committed the elbow to Dunleavy. But when the referees ruled the foul a flagrant two, his substitution came too late . “We can speculate that he might do something, but we don’t know for sure at that time,” Smart said when asked of his decision to keep Cousins in the game after the initial confrontation. “Can you say for sure that we knew that for sure that that was going to take place after everyone was conversating with him? Do we know for 100-percent sure?”
- Following the loss, Cousins was out of the building by the time the locker room was open to media. So in his absence, teammates once again had to answer questions about his latest incident. Jason Thompson admitted it’s getting tiring to keep speaking on Cousins’ behalf. “I think if you guys asked me about how we should’ve won the game and we should’ve came out to a better start in the second quarter, that’d be better man,” Thompson said. “Obviously, it’s a team sport man, but I’m not a person that gives advice. People like psychologists and stuff like that give you a better answer than I can (about Cousins).”
Cousins’ latest act of self-implosion came in the midst of what could have been an monstrous night for him offensively. In just 28 minutes, Cousins tallied his 28th double-double of the season, scoring 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Bucks had no answer for Cousins as they played with a short-handed frontline. Missing from Milwaukee’s lineup was starting center Larry Sanders, who sat out Sunday’s game with a hyperextended left knee.
The emotional breakdown is also just another item added to a laundry list of incidents for Cousins this season. He has missed five games due to disciplinary action from either the league or the team. Cousins is also now tied for the second-most technical fouls in the NBA this season with 12.