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Keith Smart talks about maturity and DeMarcus Cousins

Nov 12, 2012, 11:15 AM EDT

Andrew Bogut, James Capers, DeMarcus Cousins AP

My friends say I should act my age. What’s my age again? What’s my age again?
—Blink 182

DeMarcus Cousins acts a lot like of 22-year-olds. Stretches of maturity followed by lapses in judgment. And learning lessons the hard way.

He’s been in the spotlight so long, since his days at Kentucky, that we expect more of him than to flip out at media criticism. Guys starting their fourth year in the NBA have heard it before, and criticism should roll off like water on a duck’s back.

But he had a lapse Friday night where his ego gets the better of him — having a heated conversation with Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott after someone tells Cousins how Elliott ripped him as lacking respect and talking smack to Tim Duncan during a Spurs/Kings game. Cousins angrily confronted Elliott right after his broadcast and the league responded by suspending Cousins for two games (the first was Sunday night against the Lakers).

It seems like one step up and two steps back with Cousin’s reputation, something Kings coach Keith Smart tried to impress on Cousins.

“My thing with DeMarcus is that for every thing you’ve done extremely positive — you came back this summer, you stayed in town, you worked out and got your body in great shape, the best shape you’ve ever been — any little mark is going to knock you all the way back down again,” Smart said. “You’ve got to stay one step ahead, you’ve got to be perfect with everything that goes on. You’ve got to be a man now and accept what’s happening and then we’ve got to move on. And understand everything you do, until you are this person we all believe you can become, you have got to do things perfect. When you make mistakes, they don’t affect just you, they affect our entire team.”

The question more than one person in Sacramento is asked is how you do that?

“Constant communication, trying to keep ahead of what is going on. Like I say to my 16-year-old son — I got to stay in his ear, stay in his mind — “Son, when you leave this household, you’re still a part of this household with our name. So any mistake you make outside of our household is a reflection on us.” And that’s what I’ll keep preaching to (DeMarcus).”

Smart sounded like a father speaking of Cousins — defending him but acknowledging these kinds of things can’t happen.

We’ll see if Smart can get through, or if it is just Father Time who can do that.

  1. shockexchange - Nov 12, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    The Shock Exchange actually likes DeMarcus Cousins’ reaction to Sean Elliott’s criticism. In no way am I condoning waiting for Elliott outside the lockerroom, but if I was Smart, I would applaud Cousins’ attitude. He doesn’t back down from anybody. After the Chris Webber and Vlade era, the Kings have had a lot of players who “back down” and lack “swagger.” That’s why lose and why Paul Westphal is no longer there.

  2. acdc363 - Nov 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Dude blink 182 FTW

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 12, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Thank you Kurt for not ripping what Sean Elliot said like your co-worker.

  4. pike573 - Nov 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Some guys never mature. I fear DeMarcus may be one of those guys…

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