Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins’ antics used to make it awfully hard to view him as a sympathetic figure within a dysfunctional franchise. Now it’s almost impossible not to.
In recent seasons, Cousins has put up the kind of eye-popping numbers that not even the Western Conference coaches could ignore any longer from a player on a poor team. He’ll be an All-Star reserve for a second consecutive season this weekend in Toronto.
Only 25 years old, Cousins has many years left in his career, yet the 6-foot-11, 270-pounder who is averaging 27.1 points and 11.2 rebounds, says he feels like he’s "running out of time."
"I feel like I’m running out of town, honestly. … I was kind of put in a situation where a lot of stuff I couldn’t control, some things I could control. But, it made me grow at a faster pace than I really wanted to. It made me develop more than I wanted to at the time, and like I said, I just feel like I’m running out of time, and the time is now. I feel like this is probably one of my biggest seasons."
The dysfunction in Sacramento has gone on for years, and there’s really no end in sight. Cousins is playing under his fifth head coach and he could soon be working on a sixth with George Karl reportedly already on the hot seat after being hired late last season.
The Kings spent a brief portion of this season in eighth place, but have dropped to 10th at 21-30. After winning five in a row, the Kings lost in double overtime to Charlotte, starting a stretch of seven losses in eight games.
Cousins still has two more years left on his contract, and Kings management and ownership has shown no willingness to trade their big man and burgeoning star.
The Kings are such a mess off the court that it’s getting harder and harder not to feel badly for Cousins. He can still flash his frustrating immature act from time to time, but night to night he’s always bringing maximum effort. If only the same could be said for the Kings organization.