DeMarcus Cousins not a big fan of Chris Paul: ‘I don’t respect a cheater’
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has no love for his team’s in-state rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers. Cousins demonstrated his hostility towards the Clippers when he stopped teammate Isaiah Thomas from shaking hands with Clippers point guard Chris Paul following a loss back in November.
Cousins has ratcheted up the bad blood that he at least feels exists between the two teams — especially Paul — in an extensive and in-depth profile written by Jonathan Abrams for Grantland. In it, the temperamental, fiery and sometimes unpredictable young player blasts the Clippers while discussing the handshake incident.
Cousins maintains a rivalry with the Clippers, and Paul in particular. “It’s just, some players I don’t respect,” Cousins said. “Just their playing style of basketball. I don’t respect it. I feel like it’s basically cheating and I don’t respect a cheater. If that’s your tactic to winning, I don’t respect you.”
Calling out Chris Paul as a cheater probably is a bit of a stretch, but Cousins certainly makes it clear how he feels about CP3.
Cousins’ negative attitudes towards Paul and his opinion that CP3 is a cheater in all likelihood stems from the epic flop the point guard pulled after running into the Kings center during a game last season:
Thomas, meanwhile, went to bat for his teammate, despite being the target of Cousins’ ire for his attempted handshake with Paul.
In November, he memorably yanked Isaiah Thomas away as he attempted to shake Paul’s hand after a close loss. “It was [him being competitive],” Thomas said. “At the same time, I told him, ‘Everyone looks at everything that you do. So they may take it a different way than what you were trying to do. You’re mad we lost. You don’t want to shake hands with them, but you didn’t have to pull me away to make it something that it wasn’t. You made everyone say, “Oh, he’s a bad guy because he doesn’t want to shake hands.”’ Everybody doesn’t shake hands after games anyways. But they single him out because of how he did it.”
This is all well and good. Players shouldn’t like players on opposing teams, especially both in and shortly after a battle on the court. There seems to be too much glad-handing and palling around going on in pro sports in this day and age. That does not mean players have to hate one another, but does anyone think Michael Jordan, a player whose fiery competitiveness has no rival — would have sought out an opponent after a hard-fought to chit-chat and congratulate his opponent, his rival? It didn’t happen.
With that in mind, perhaps Cousins’ attitude about the Clippers and Chris Paul should be viewed as a refreshing change of pace. It’s worth noting that Cousins leads the league in fouls with 156 in 40 games, a 3.9/game and 5.9/48 minutes average.
And more in keeping with the theme, Cousins also leads the league in technical fouls with 11 thus far this season. While that indicates Cousins has trouble maintaining composure, it also reveals that he is an emotional player whose burning and intense desire to compete — and win — cannot be contained.
Perhaps the NBA, whose on-court product is becoming increasingly stale despite the incredible skill of the players, could use more DeMarcus Cousins in the league. That’s a frightening thought.
[H/T Slam Online]