DeMarcus Cousins out due to injury, not suspension against Chicago Bulls
Update: 12:28 am PT
DeMarcus Cousins wasn’t suspended for Wednesday’s game after all. However, he still sat on the sidelines, watching the Sacramento Kings trounce the Chicago Bulls 121-79 because of a leg injury.
The Kings starting center didn’t play in yesterday’s match-up because of a left-quad contusion and is listed as day-to-day by the team. The injury stemmed from a collision between Cousins and veteran forward Mike Dunleavy that happened late in the third quarter of the Kings’ 115-113 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.
The news was first reported by Sam Amick of USA Today Sports.
“It’s still going to be difficult for him to play in this game regardless of what would’ve happened (with the league) based on the injury that he had,” Kings head coach Keith Smart said pregame. “So, he’ll simply be in a uniform but not available.”
The NBA decided not to take any disciplinary action against Cousins for his actions following the collision with Dunleavy. Cousins was ejected from the game after receiving a flagrant foul 2 for swinging an elbow to the head of the veteran small forward.
It’s not unusual for the league to announce decisions on a player’s status just hours before tip-off. When the Kings hadn’t heard anything from the NBA, Smart said both he and President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie reached out to the league office for clarity.
“We called and Geoff called as well,” Smart said. “But they have their own timetable. You can’t force the issue until they make the contact. And then we got in touch with Geoff, and then Geoff alerted me and then of course I alerted Cousins. And Geoff did the same thing as well.”
Patrick Patterson replaced the third-year center in the starting lineup. He scored 11 of his 14 points and grabbed five of his nine rebounds in the first quarter. His productive start on the glass and in other facets of the game set the tone for the Kings’ eventual victory over the Bulls.
“Basically once I knew I was starting, my main focus was just defense and the offense just came,” Patterson told reporters after the win.
Cousins has missed just two games in his career due to injury or illness. In contrast, he’s missed seven games because of disciplinary action from either the NBA or Kings organization.