DeMarcus Cousins on an island following latest suspension

DeMarcus Cousins on his own during a break in action versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo: Steven Chea)

While there’s no excuse for the many shenanigans DeMarcus Cousins has pulled during his three seasons with the Sacramento Kings, his latest suspension, which forced him to sit out last night’s loss in Milwaukee, seems a bit different.

What if the video tells a contrary story than the mainstream narrative?  Cousins hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt throughout his career, but what if this time he should?

Let’s watch the video once more then offer some analysis here.

First up, O.J. Mayo is grabbing and yanking at Cousins, who’s not even his man, the entire possession. He is trying to hold Cousins back so he can’t cut to the lane for a rebound. Mayo, not Cousins, instigates the contact and continues to grab at the Kings starting center. At one point, Cousins even crosses his arms across his own groin area.

As the hand fighting continues, Cousins attempts to pull away to chase down the rebound, while Mayo continues to grasp at his arm. I could easily make the argument that Cousins was trying to shake loose of an illegal hold by Mayo and in the fracas, the Mavs guard just catches one in the groin.


From the picture above, you can see that Mayo is still holding and grabbing after Cousins hits him below the belt.  I will make a few other observations here as well.  First off, this isn’t a Reggie Evans grab-and-squeeze situation.  Whatever happened, happened in the blink of an eye.  Second, it’s not like Mayo went down in a heap, which is the typical response for a man hit in the groin by a 6-foot-10, 270-pound center’s swinging arm.  Lastly, Cousins doesn’t react at all.  He doesn’t look back or say anything.

Of course, Mayo made matters worse with his postgame comments, placing blame squarely on the shoulders of Cousins and his “mental problems”.  Cousins is difficult and yes, he has major impulse issues, but really?  This is a physical game, Mayo.  You were the one grabbing and clawing Cousins from the blindside.  In the process, you just happened to catch one in the groin, so man up.

I’m not a Cousins apologist, but at this point, this 22-year-old kid is running out of allies. I acknowledge that the guy needs to grow up and take accountability for his actions, but this situation is ridiculous. In a league where in the same week, another player gets suspended one-game for throwing his mouthpiece at an official, Cousins gets the same punishment for a reactionary play that can’t be proven intentional? A play where no one was even injured?

Reputation is one thing, but come on.

The Kings no longer want to talk about Cousins and his questionable decisions.  It seems pretty clear that from here on out, the Kings are going to let the big fella and his agent, John Greig handle their personal business.

And maybe that’s a good thing.  But it also leaves Cousins in the same place he’s always been.

On an island by himself.

I don’t agree with the suspension, but I hope Cousins is beginning to understand his team is losing because of his actions and reputation. The Kings are now 0-3 when he sits and for a player that hates losing as much as I know he does, that should be a tough-enough pill to swallow.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also provides game day coverage for NBA.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart".