Sunday night following the NBA all-star game DeMarcus Cousins, who has spent his entire career with the Sacramento Kings, was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans(details of the trade can be found here). Cousins has built quite the reputation in 6 1/2 seasons with the Kings, a reputation filled with both good and bad. The good, Cousins has solidified himself as the most talented center in the league. He contains a unique skill set that sets him apart from you classic back to the basket big man. Cousins has no problem facing up defenders and taking them to the hoop, or just shooting from the outside, along with, of course having a dominant post game as well. That's all nice and dandy, if he's such a good player though why has he never made the playoff, or even less been apart of a winning season? Well, he can't be the only one to blame for that since the Kings failed to put talent around him, but DeMarcus certainly didn't help at times. Which leads us to the bad of DeMarcus Cousins.
The bad being that DeMarcus Cousins has been a total head case throughout his tenure in Sacramento, which was probably a leading factor in why the Kings dealt him for next to nothing. DeMarcus Cousins has led the league in technical fouls 5 times in 6 full seasons, and he's on his way to leading the league in techs once again this year. He has also led the league in disqualifications 4 times, meaning he's either been kicked out of games or couldn't attend games for whatever reason unrelated to injury. 109 career technical fouls, 46 career disqualifications, and 11 career ejections, yet he continues to maintain such a high value as a player for what he's capable of on the court. That speaks volumes to his ability. DeMarcus Cousins certainly needs to control his actions on the court because it does effect his team's chances of winning. However, I refuse to jump on the bandwagon of making him out to be a locker room cancer, as I just don't see any tangible evidence that this is true. NBA media just makes him out to be that guy because of the way he acts on the court, which is a cute assumption and all, but I just don't see it as true since multiple former teammates have denied that assumption. Regardless, there's a negative narrative surrounding DeMarcus Cousins, and now is his opportunity to change that.
How can DeMarcus do that, well there's actually a few ways. First, he can learn to control his emotions better on the court. I won't lie though, I saw a lot of star players high on those technical foul lists, but the difference is they don't lead the league year after year, so it kinda just slips under the rug. Also, the difference between the stars high up on that list and DeMarcus Cousins is that those stars are on winning teams, and as you all know winning cures all. That brings me to my next point, if DeMarcus can start winning with the Pelicans now that he'll have another star beside him, this will all slowly but surely start disappearing. Like I said before winning cures all, the fans aren't going to care if you have a "bad attitude" if you're winning games and making the playoffs. It's pretty simple what DeMarcus has to do, win basketball games like you're supposed, try to keep his cool on the court, and stay out of the headlines for anything unrelated to playing basketball. If he can do those three simple things, DeMarcus Cousins will have a very successful part 2 of his career. Sometimes a change of scenery is all a player like this needs.