Sunday gave us examples of what DeMarcus Cousins brings to the Sacramento Kings, in both positive and negative terms. The two-time all-star roasted the New York Knicks with 24 points and 20 rebounds in an 88-80 win, but he also added to his reputation for having a surly demeanor.
As the first half at Madison Square Garden came to a close, Cousins and teammate Rajon Rondo were talking to officials near center court. A security guard came up behind Cousins and put his right hand on the back of the 6-11 center, prompting Cousins to push the guard away with his left arm while fixing the MSG employee with an unhappy look.
“Actually I think he was trying to remove me from talking to the refs, so he kind of put his hand on my back and tried to move me forward,” Cousins said (via the Associated Press). “So I don’t think it was that big of an issue, honestly.”
Cousins didn’t come close to physically harming or endangering the guard, so he is correct in the incident not being a big issue in that sense. However, it became a bigger issue than it might have, had it involved any of the majority of NBA players who don’t have his history of churlish behavior.
The incident was enough to cause MSG Network analyst/Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier to describe Cousins as an “open-faced sandwich.”
For all his abundant talent, which has Cousins averaging 27.2 points and 11.5 rebounds this season, he has never been able help the Kings become a .500 team, let alone a contender. Granted, the oft-struggling team has a long history of dysfunction, but episodes such as the one Sunday bolster the notion that Cousins’s moodiness has contributed to Sacramento’s non-winning ways.
Or, to put it another way, as with an open-faced sandwich, there is a lot to like about Cousins, but he’s missing something that would help avoid messy situations.