Last night, frustration came to a full boil for DeMarcus Cousins, who received his first ejection of the season in a 26-point loss to the Houston Rockets. The 23-year-old center lost his cool following a few questionable calls after halftime that resulted in his 14th and 15th technical fouls of the year.
Cousins was still hot following Tuesday’s game and wasn’t in the locker room during postgame availability. However, the Kings big man addressed last night’s incident after practice today.
- Cousins on the Kings lackadaisical start to last night’s game, which resulted in 42 first quarter points by the Rockets: “We came off, we started terrible. They got a huge lead on us. Played a terrible first quarter. Second quarter, we kind of picked up, kind of cut it down some.”
- Cousins picked up his fourth personal foul in questionable circumstances. The 23-year-old center was called for a shooting foul on Dwight Howard, who flew through the air to catch a lob from teammate James Harden. Cousins wasn’t so much upset about the call as he was about the technical that followed: “On the incident, I thought it was a bad call. Wasn’t really frustrated about the call. It was a bad call; we knew that. I was more frustrated about the technical I received because I really don’t know what I did to receive it. Just that on top of the bad foul, lost my cool, resulted in the second technical.”
- Kings head coach Michael Malone tried to plead Cousins’ case with referee Courtney Kirkland on his starting center’s behalf. But before he could finish, Cousins stood off up Kings bench and proceeded to share some coarse thoughts with Kirkland, which led to his ejection. “Coach got mad, so I got mad,” Cousins said of seeing Malone try and argue with the official on his behalf. “It’s just a bad situation. It shouldn’t have happened.”
- Cousins is now one technical foul away from receiving an automatic suspension from the league office. How does he plan on managing himself knowing that additional punishment could soon be coming? “Can’t really answer that,” Cousins said. “Hope for the best.”
- Cousins’ response to if he has to learn how to let others, like his head coach, fight his battles with officials for him: “Let me just be honest. A lot of technicals I receive aren’t technicals, so I can’t say what I can do different. Maybe just not show up for the game, so I can’t really answer that question.”
- Malone on his conversation with Cousins about last night’s incident: “Well I told him I said ‘DeMarcus, I was trying to protect you’. When I’m trying to protect you, you can’t go crazy. He said ‘Coach, I was trying to save you money’. I said, ‘Well, don’t worry about my money’. We talked and he knows he can’t do that. But the challenge is knowing he can’t do that after the fact and stopping yourself from doing it at all. When and if he gets to that point, I hope I’m here to see that because if he’s ever able to mature to that level where he can harness those emotions and use them in a positive manner, then you will have a true consistent force to be reckoned with.
- The Kings head coach also joked that a lot of the guys on the team are taking bets on when Cousins gets his next technical. “We’ll have to go Vegas to see what the line is on that,” Malone said lightheartedly.