While the Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most talented big men in the NBA, the 26-year-old finds himself in the news more for his attitude problems than his actual play on the court, and this story is certainly not going to change that trend.
The Sacramento Bee released a video on Friday night that shows Cousins having several confrontational moments with the media, but the most notable instance shown took place in the locker room after the Kings’ game on Monday night against the Lakers, when Cousins went on a profanity-laced tirade at Bee columnist Andy Furillo:
“We’re going to have some real fucking issues. Don’t ever mention my brother again. Fucking coward. You say whatever you want to say about me, but don’t mention my motherfucking family.”
Cousins was unhappy with a column Furillo wrote last weekend about Cousins and teammate Matt Barnes being sued over an alleged assault at a New York night club earlier this month. Specifically, Cousins was furious with Furillo over a reference at the end of the column to Cousins’ younger brother, Jaleel, who plays on the NBA D-League’s Texas Legends.
Here’s what Furillo wrote that set Cousins off:
For Cousins, this is his second late-night outing on the club circuit this year that ended badly. In May, TMZ caught him at The DrYnk in Tampa with his younger brother, Jaleel. The celebrity gossip website reported that he and his brother were trying to get into the club’s DJ area when a confrontation broke out. Jaleel wound up getting shocked with a Taser and arrested while friends hustled DeMarcus out of the place.
Cousins would not speak with the rest of the media while Furillo was around on Monday night, and as the Bee’s Joyce Terhaar writes, it’s just the latest incident of Cousins “controlling and censoring the media”:
That’s a tactic he’s employed before when he’s angry about coverage, and it is behavior aimed at controlling and censoring the media.
For the journalists who cover the Kings, Cousins’ tirade and threat to refuse the required NBA post-game interview is an all-too-familiar pattern of abusive behavior.
“He is a bully, to be sure,” said Bee columnist Ailene Voisin, who has extensive experience covering the NBA, as well as the NFL and MLB. “He bullies everybody. He bullies his coaches, his teammates, team employees, reporters.
USA Today’s Sam Amick reports that the NBA was already aware of Cousins’ incident with Furillo, and there is a “strong sense that a penalty is coming” for Cousins.
The Kings released a statement saying “there is an ongoing review” of the incident, and they will “take the appropriate steps immediately upon its conclusion”:
“We are committed to being open and transparent, and any hint of media censorship is unacceptable,” the statement said. “There is an ongoing review into this matter, and we will take the appropriate steps immediately upon its conclusion.”
Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck said that NBA general managers continue to give “hell no” responses to the idea of trading for the supremely talented Cousins, because of moments like this.