DeMarcus Cousins has often displayed his penchant for speaking his mind. The Kings’ All-Star center has not shied away from giving his honest opinion when fielding media questions, something that has polarized his popularity amongst fans in Sacramento and throughout the NBA.
Most recently, Cousins has come under fire for his comments following a practice in Las Vegas, where he is preparing for his first Olympic tournament as a member of Team USA.
Cousins gave this response when asked about Sacramento’s recent actions during the 2016 NBA Draft, when they used two out of their three first round picks to select big men Georgios Papagiannis (No. 13 overall) and Skal Labissiere (No. 28 overall).
“I can’t control [the draft decisions],” Cousins said to reporters. “I control what I can control. I don’t really understand it, but I do my job.”
The tail end of these remarks made their rounds through media outlets, with headlines being written about DMC “not understanding” the Kings’ moves on Draft day.
The ensuing articles about this quote painted a picture of disconnect between Cousins and the Kings front office, adding to the narrative of internal dysfunction that Sacramento has had to deal with for years, but to an increased degree since the tumultuous firing of head coach Mike Malone in 2014.
In reality, however, it appears that the comments Boogie made were not shedding light on any distance or distrust with Kings General Manager Vlade Divac and his front office staff. Rather, it sounded like Cousins was simply telling us that he is focused on working on his game because that is truly what he is in control of.
Saying he doesn’t understand the draft choices may have a negative ring to it, but there is also a difference between not understanding and not agreeing with. It seems that Cousins was implying more of the past and was reinforcing that it is not his job to figure out the team moves, but that it’s his job to be the best player that he can be.
// Cousins’ frustration was easy to detect when he gave his follow up comments to Michael Lee of The Vertical.
“I’m trying to figure out what I said wrong. Of course, they’ve twisted it into something negative, in some type of way,” Cousins said to Lee. “I’m clueless. It’s to the point now, where I don’t want to say anything about any situation. Then I’ll be the bad guy about that as well. Anything I do. Anything I do, it’s … it’s whatever, man.”
Cousins seems to have realized that he is in a seemingly lose-lose situation when speaking to the media, something that may affect his usual inclination to give authentic answers.
Whether or not he becomes more cautious in his comments moving forward will remain to be seen, but for now, it seems his primary focus is on improving his game and immersing himself in the valuable experience of playing for Team USA.
“I feel I’ve become a better player from this experience. I get to play for my entire country. You’d be a fool to ever pass that up,” Cousins said to Lee of The Vertical. “I’m extremely honored. I’m a prideful guy. I plan on representing well. I’m just excited about the whole thing.”