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Cousins didn’t like Colangelo calling him immature

Jul 10, 2012, 11:11 AM EDT

DeMarcus Cousins AP

The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem.

Which brings us to DeMarcus Cousins, the very talented Kings big man who is part of the USA Select Team, the group of young players brought in to training camp to work out and push Team USA.

On the first day of camp, Cousins was very physical. Too physical. Especially on what he should consider his own team. Carmelo Anthony described it as Cousins “fouling the s— out of everyone.” The Sacramento Bee described the reaction of some USA Basketball officials to Cousins this way (via SLAM).

Too much fouling. Too much trash-talking. Too much complaining about favoritism (edge, Olympians) to the referees. Too many frowns, head shakes and frustrated hand flips.

So USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo called him out for it.

Cousins didn’t like that and told the Bee he asked Colangelo about it.

“I actually just had a conversation with (Colangelo),” Cousins revealed after Monday’s scrimmage between the Select Team and members of the recently named U.S. Olympic squad. “I asked him, ‘How was I being immature?’ He never really gave me an answer. I mean, I really wanted to know. I took offense to it. … It definitely bothered me.”

Colangelo saw it a little differently.

“Everything’s cool,” Colangelo said when reached later in the day. “He wanted an explanation. I was trying to be more encouraging than anything else.”

Credit Cousins for going to him and talking about it.

Cousins is still learning and growing up — which is as one should expect. The question is not his basketball IQ or his game, it has always felt more like a sense of entitlement and not really grasping the situation. He has made strides, but that does not mean the journey is complete. And new coach Keith Smart did something smart that Paul Westphal was never able to do — build a relationship with Cousins. So when those moments do come, you go talk to him not smack him around in the media. It seems to work.

It’s the lesson Colangelo is learning, too.

  1. ccshocktalk - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    This is where guys should be in college for four full years. Learn to grow up, realize that just because you have an impressive skill set, it doesn’t mean you’re the man and people will respect you. He has to give it before he’s going to get it…sounds like the only thing he’s giving anyone is a hard time, therefore, that’s all he’s going to receive from anyone outside of the Kings organization.

    • echech88 - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      Honest question because I’m too lazy to look it up…did ANYONE on the US roster finish 4 years of college? Seems like Durant and Love are pretty mature and professional after having the same college experience as Cousins.

      Cousins will probably be a headache until he ends up on a veteran contender like a San Antonio or Boston that has a strong locker room to back up the coaching staff.

      • purplenurpls - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        Absolutely nobody on the 2012 USA team has gone a full 4 years in college.

        Deron Williams wins the battle on this 2012 USA team with 3 years of collegiate experience.

        Westbrook, CP3, Iggy, Blake Griffin, and “Fear The Beard” all had 2 years in college.

        4 out the 13 USA players are from the Pac 10! (Now the 12-Pac) BearDown Arizona!

        BTW Cousins is a beast! DMC is a baller but just needs to control his feelings on the court better…I think mentally he still needs to grow into his body…It’s just taking a year or so longer for that to happen.

    • scalfor3 - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      how would dominating in college for another few years humble him at all?

      • pellypell - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

        It wouldn’t. He would have continued to be coddled by the powers that be as he is a precious little snowflake that plays basketball. School for these fellas that end up in the NBA isn’t like school for us regular folk, they are athlete students, not student athletes.

    • kinggw - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      Like Colangelo you seem to have lazily formed your opinion of Cousins. It seems to me that Cousins was mislabeled because of his time in high school and people just accepted it because they want to believe that every young player who has tattoos and left college early is a thug and a malcontent. To whom did Cousins give a hard time?

      Cousins plays hard, he plays with intensity, he cares. Yes he had problems with Paul Westphal, but so did Tyreke Evans, Gary Payton and just about everyone Westphal has coached over the years.

      The fact that Colangelo couldnt give a concrete answer as to why he viewed Cousins as immature speaks volumes. He like most other people had his mind made up about Cousins before the select team hit the court. Hopefully Cousins uses this slight as motivation and makes the league pay over the next few years.

      • pellypell - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

        Are you projecting?

        When your fellow teammates come out of practice bitching about you, that tends to help people form their opinions.

    • dominator71030 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      Four years in college won’t help. All these players in the pros are told since they were young how special they are and how amazing they are and will be.

  2. pellypell - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Colangelo, “You’re immature”

    Cousins, “Nuh uh, you ah. I’m rubber you’re your glue”

  3. farvefromover - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    hey Cousins, tough sh!t. dont give them a reason to say it then

  4. LPad - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Have to agree with Kurt on this one. There was no need for Colangelo to call Cousins immature, especially if your only complaints are: he fouled too much/too hard (don’t put a young, foul prone player on the Select Team), he trashed talked (sure Kobe and the other guys on the Olympic team weren’t saying anything), and he got on the refs. A simple statement like: Areas Cousins can improve are learning how to play D without fouling and learning how to interact better with the refs” would have suffice.

    • metalhead65 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      the difference being Kobe and everyone on the U.S. squad have earned the right to say whatever they want. they are not some young punk who thinks they are owed everything just because they are talented. you do not want people calling you immature then don’t act like it. just shut up play and watch and learn from the big boys and maybe you will earn some respect you somehow think you are owed. stop committing cheap fouls and acting like a baby on the court and people will stop thinking of you the way they do now. how many years does he get to play the “young” and growing card anyway?

      • LPad - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        Seriously, guy just finished his second year in the league, after one year of college ball. Improved his PPG, REB, FG %, and FT % over his rookie year. Let’s wait until he at least finishes his rookie contract and learns how to play physical D without fouling (one of the hardest things for post players to learn) before we say he’s playing “young and growing card” because he yelled at some refs and committed some fouls, and didn’t realize that only “the Olympians are allowed to talk smack”

        Either way, there was no need for Colangelo to publicly call him out. Pull the guy aside, call him out in front the team, but no need to try publicly embrass the guy.

  5. noirad - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Telling Cousins he is immature, is like telling Kobe he only likes white women.

    • pellypell - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Trying to wrap my head around this comment.

  6. tonystrong - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Cousins is what he was in college, a knucklehead! Calipari used to rip him out of games and bench him regularly during his short stay at Kentucky. Always for doing knucklehead, petty BS. You guys can say what you want about everyone trash talking, his fouling, etc etc but the fact is, Cousins rubs people the wrong way. It might not be that he’s trash talking, it might be what he’s saying. It might not be that he’s committing fouls, it might be he’s hacking, trying to prove something in meaningless scrimmages. I was always told this one thing….”everybody can’t be wrong” and with Cousins it seems everyone has the same opinion of him. He’s a knucklehead. He’s entering his third season in the league. Getting pretty close to that point where you can’t just say “he’s young, he’ll learn” and getting closer to the point where you say “this guys a malcontent, not worth the headache!!”

    • lawful1 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      So true, so true, so true!

  7. buccaneerz78 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Seattle kings …..

  8. philwauke - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    It’s not what you said It’s how you said it.

  9. sasquash20 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Kid is 21. So hopefully he grows up a little. He is by far and away the best player to come out of the draft that season. He has tons of talent and I hope he figures it out before teams decide to give up on him.

  10. aldavis4president - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    The dream team battled it out every practice numerous altercationns and although this only.the select tram…players nowadays r whimps..MJ N CO. Wudve loved this guy..hes playing hard nd TRYING to make his name…I dnt c wats da big deal wit him…Ithink ppl have been alittle harsh on tha kid..

    • pellypell - Jul 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      School is out for the Summer apparently.

  11. sham13ert - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    I honestly thought Cousins was going to come out of this summer a beast. He gets to work in with true professionals, he works out all summer, goes to the olympics as a reserve, and comes back with a different view of the game.

    Instead, it’s more of the same stuff. In the right environment, this guy could be a top 10 player. Unfortunately, he landed with an extremely young and entitled Sacramento team and a coach that was in an impossible situation: bow to the extremely talented but spoiled center or play Hassan Whiteside and lose even more games.

    If Cousins landed with the Sixers, Pistons, or Pacers he would have been in a more nurturing environment that kept his mean streak but taught him how to use it. Instead, he’s with a team that lacks identity, veteran leadership, and depth in the front court.

    It’ll click for Cousins eventually, but he just burned a bridge; so long 2016 summer olympics when he’s likely dominating the post.

  12. opinevain - Jul 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    He’ll be OKAY.

  13. 1historian - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    I’d like to lock Cousins and Howard in a room together


    I don’t really know, but it might be interesting

  14. longtallsam - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Go ahead and throw Bynum in with them, too! :) For all you people trashing Colangelo, I read his comments, and didn’t see anything wrong with them. They appeared to be very straightforward and factual. It didn’t sound like he was putting Cousins down, at all. Just matter of factly, saying what he needs to do the improve.

    Cousins just proved his own immaturity by the way he responded.

  15. nokoolaidcowboy - Jul 11, 2012 at 5:27 AM

    So perhaps now Cousins can track down Carmelo and then the referees as well. He’ll get to the bottom of this if it’s the last thing he’ll do!

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