Sportress of Blogitude

DeMarcus Cousins criticizes Kings for poor effort in blowout loss to Mavericks


As the losses continue to pile up for the Sacramento Kings, the frustrating weight of it all is beginning to take its toll on the team’s best player, DeMarcus Cousins.

The fiery Kings big man blasted the team’s effort in a 101-78 blowout loss to the visiting Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento’s ninth loss in its past ten games that leaves the squad with a 17-31 record. A coaching change that replaced Michael Malone for Tyrone Corbin hasn’t altered the course of the season, with the Kings playing to a woeful 6-18 record during his brief tenure.

Cousins, visibly frustrated, nevertheless kept his emotions in check as he let the team have it when speaking to the media after the game.

“To come in and lay down like we did is unacceptable,” Cousins said, via CSN Bay Area. “Have some self respect. Act like you care. That’s what it’s coming down to.

“There’s nothing wrong with the team. It’s the same team that was winning. Ain’t nothing changed but the attitudes with the guys in this room.”

Saying all he can do is “lead by example,” Cousins added that nothing seems to be helping turn things around and all he expects is for the team to give maximum effort each and every game. If the Kings still lose, so be it.

“We’ve had player-only meetings. Honestly, I don’t think we’ll get anything out of it. It’s something within each guy in this locker room. It’s about . . . self respect, having some type of pride and taking your job seriously. Coming in every night ready to play, regardless of the circumstances.

“Just man up and play, man. Just play hard. If we play hard and we get our brains beat in, I’m fine with that. But to just come out and lay down like we did tonight is unacceptable.”

Cousins missed 10 straight games beginning in late November due to a bout with viral meningitis that derailed a relatively decent 9-6 start for the Kings. The center has pulled more than his fair share of the weight on the court — for the most part — averaging 23.7 points and 12.5 rebounds in 36 games when he’s been healthy, but he needs his teammates to pick up some of the slack.

Cousins clearly has matured over the years and deserves credit for conducting himself in such a calm, cool and collected manner, demonstrating the qualities sought in a leader.

(image credit: Sacramento Kings/Twitter)