The media’s comments in regard to whether or not Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is championship material isn’t exactly the first time people have questioned the capability of a hot-headed, seven-footer to win a championship.
Flashback to the Portland “Jail Blazers” era that consisted of multiple players on the team always being talked about in the news — and not always for the right reasons. Of all the infamous players that filled up that roster, big man Rasheed Wallace stood out in terms of personality, as well as consistent success in the years to come. In one of the more impressive and most likely untouchable of all NBA records, Rasheed Wallace received a whopping 41 technical fouls while playing in 77 games in the 2000-2001 season.
However, the story proved to work in Sheed’s favor as he eventually landed with the Detroit Pistons and played a pivotal role during their 2004 championship run. Sure, Wallace still had multiple seasons where he led the league in technical fouls, but he also was able to act accordingly when it mattered. Come playoff time, where do the situations differ? Wallace’s team was less than 12 minutes away of an NBA Finals appearance and sought to remain a championship-contending team for multiple seasons to follow. As for Cousins, he’s yet to experience a winning season at all. In fact, it has been just over a full decade since the last time the Sacramento Kings were above 0.500.
Despite actually drafting well with center Cousins, and despite his career averages of 20.8 points and 10.7 rebounds, Sacramento management has ultimately failed to surround Cousins with sufficient teammates. Wallace had at least some form of consistency while with the Blazers, having former Rookie of the Year Damon Stoudemire, and former all-stars like Steve Smith and Scottie Pippen in the lineup for a couple of years — experiencing only two different coaches during his eight-year stint with the team. Not exactly the case for Cousins, as the Sacramento center has experienced 11 different point guards as well as six different coaches since being drafted six seasons ago.
The burden of carrying a dysfunctional franchise is extremely prominent with this case, and it’s not as if Cousins isn’t passionate about winning. In fact, after a loss to the Mavericks back in February 2015, he commented on his teammates needing to “Get some pride, just have some self-respect,” as well as to, “act like you care.” Though it may seem extremely contrary to popular belief, the majority of the issues Cousins shows both on and off the court is due to terrible team management on Sacramento’s part.