The career path of 22-year-old Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, the enigmatic second-year pro from Kentucky, has been a rocky one, due in part to what appear to be issues of maturity going back to the day he entered college. Cousins was suspended for two games without pay Sunday for "confronting Spurs announcer Sean Elliott in a hostile manner," according to ESPN.com.
During a question-and-answer session Nov. 8, before the Maryland game at the Barclays Center in New York City, HuffPost asked Kentucky head coach John Calipari who had been his biggest challenge to coach as a player. Without hesitation, he said Cousins, recalling a story during the first day of conditioning in Cousin's freshman year. "DeMarcus took off his shoes and told me his feet were on fire," Calipari said, adding that Cousins then sat out the rest of the workout. Calipari went on to discuss briefly the daily bouts of screaming that Cousins inspired throughout the year.
Cousins remains one of the more perplexing players in the NBA. He was the fifth pick in the 2010 draft after a terrific, if not completely stable, freshman campaign in Lexington. This season, he is averaging a stellar 17 points and 10 rebounds, yet is shooting under 43 percent from the floor, an atrocious mark for a big man.
On Jan. 5 last season, Kings coach Paul Westphal was fired, leading to speculation that his relationship with Cousins was beyond repair. Just four days earlier, Westphal had sent Cousins home during a game against New Orleans, saying that Cousins was "unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team; it cannot be ignored indefinitely."
Sacramento, even aside from Cousins, has shown little hope of success, both on or off the floor.
At 2-5, the Kings are 24th in points per game and 20th in points allowed. Former standout Tyreke Evans has been awful, and Jimmer Fredette is earning fewer than 10 minutes of tick per game.
Attendance levels are low and have not improved over last season's 27th (out of 30) mark. Meanwhile, rumors continue to swirl around the fate of the team's owners, and it seems to be a foregone conclusion that the organization will move after this season.
Then there is the Sleep Train Arena, formerly known as Arco Arena. In a recent game, pieces of the archaic scoreboard literally fell to the court.
Ed Note: A previous entry stated Power Balance Pavilion; the new name is Sleep Train Arena.
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