DeMarcus Cousins was traded from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans. Sacramento is 24-33 and in ninth place in the Western Conference, one game behind the Denver Nuggets for the 8th and final playoff spot. The Pelicans are 23-34 and in 11 place in the West.
But Cousins is the Kings leading scorer, averaging 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds this season. The three-time All-Star recently served a one-game suspension after accruing his 17th technical foul and will be forced to serve additional suspensions with every additional technical he incurs for the rest of the regular season.
So the question is this: will it work? Can Cousins calm down and settle down and simmer down and play basketball alongside one the NBA’s elite players, Antony Davis, the 2017 All Star Game MVP, who is also on a struggling team? The Pelicans sure hope so.
From the outside looking in, Cousins is a head case. After publicly saying that they would not trade Cousins, Vldae Divac and the Kings turned right around and traded him. On Feb. 6, Divac told ESPN, “We’re not trading DeMarcus … we hope he’s here for a long time.” Yeah, right.
Divac’s public statement, sources said, followed a face-to-face meeting days earlier in which he assured Cousins and his representatives that there would be no trade and that the sides were on track for the extension this summer.
So why was Cousins traded? Because he’s a hot head and everybody knows it. The Kings now have the chance to start over because there was growing internal concern about Cousins’ unpredictability and run-ins with referees, and these were chief among the lures that convinced Sacramento to go forward with the trade Sunday, rather than playing the process out until Thursday’s trade deadline.
So the lesson is this: what do people think and say about you? What do they say publicly, and does it match what they say privately? The Kings were willing to part with arguably one of the NBA’s best big men in order to get … Buddy Hield? It doesn’t make sense unless you understand why the Kings wanted to get as far away from Cousins as possible.
Our attitude determines our altitude. Period. Those around us can see and sense our disposition a mile away. And because we are supposed to emulate and imitate and mimic and model Jesus Christ, let’s hope that this ironic, sarcastic and sardonic “we say we like him but we really can’t stand him” attitude can’t be pegged on and doesn’t apply to any one of us.