Cousins fined and benched.

In a season of disappointments, the Kings’ loss last night to the Golden State Warriors seemed to exemplify the team’s immaturity and lack of self discipline.  In case you’ve missed it, rookie DeMarcus Cousins got caught on camera doing this:

Unfortunately, big Cuz and his team proved to be the chokers in one of the more poorly played final 30 seconds of an NBA game I have ever witnessed.  The Kings have responded by fining the young big man and taking away his starting position for the foreseeable future.  Here is what a heated Coach Paul Westphal had to say:

During the game, I didn’t see it but I did see it on the replay, with DeMarcus and his choke sign, he’s been fined and he will not be starting until he exemplifies the kind of professionalism that we expect.

When prodded, Westphal went on to add these quotes as well:

I never disclose the amount.  The reason I am disclosing the fine is because it was a public action that demands public response.

It’s unprofessional, childish, embarrassing and it won’t be tolerated.

Cousins sat down and gave his two cents.  He said his teammates had not said anything to him about the incident, and when asked if his actions would have been viewed differently if his team had won, here is what he had to say:

It definitely would have been different, but we didn’t and that’s the punishment he decided I need so I got to deal with it.

This is the third disruption of the season for Cousins who has already been fined for one situation and kicked out of practice for another.  The 20-year-old out of Kentucky has shown moments of poor judgment, but his play on the court has improved greatly since the beginning of the season.  In my opinion, this incident, although embarrassing to the team, was truly the mistake of a young, immature person.  Although there appears to be a trend forming, there has also been real growth by Cousins.  For today, this incident takes the focus away from a disaster of a loss.


James Ham

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