Feb. 13, 2011RATTO ARCHIVEKINGS PAGE KINGS VIDEO
DeMarcus Cousins is all upside, which is why the Sacramento Kings drafted him. Gravity, on the other hand, is a real bitch, as the kids like to say.In short, he is running close to the third rail yet again, and closer than ever to actually hitting it.NEWS: Kings' Cousins kicked off team plane to Phoenix
As we know from our reading, Cousins was held off the Kings charter to Phoenix Saturday night after a postgame altercation with teammate Donte Greene over whom should have gotten the inbound pass that resulted in Tyreke Evans missed jumper in the Kings 99-97 loss to Oklahoma City.RECAP: Tyreke misses game-winner as Kings fall to OKC
Greene was the inbounder. Cousins didnt get the ball. Any other questions?This is by the count of Sacramento Bee beat writer Jason Jones the fourth Cousins-related dust-up this year that has hit the streets. He had an argument with the Kings strength and conditioning coach in preseason, an argument with Westphal in November and a benching after making a choking gesture at Warrior Reggie Williams before a free throw December 23.Those, however, are less troublesome than the current issue, and makes one wonder if Sacramento is quite the fit for Cousins, let alone whether Cousins can fit anywhere at this stage of his career. Sam Amick, the senior NBA writer for Fanhouse has described it as nothing less than a power struggle between Cousins and Evans, which is a powderkeg of a different size entirely. If that is so, someone will have to back down, or the Kings will have to remove their talent stable by one, sooner rather than later.Cousins is undeniably young, and undeniably talented. He is also undeniably quick to offend, and head coach Paul Westphal and general manager Geoff Petrie, who apparently made the decision to keep Cousins off the plane, clearly see that their messages and Cousins attention are beginning to diverge.The snap with Greene is one of those cross-the-line moments for one simple reason: Greene is a teammate. Greene's position on the play is that Evans was open and Cousins was not; Cousins position, according to one source who spoke with ESPNs J.A. Adande, is that he isnt respected.Well, this isnt likely to help.On the other hand, it isnt irredeemable, either. Cousins may not be joyous and sing-songy with the Kings right now, but it either has or will be made clear to him shortly that not all disgruntled players end up with the Lakers or Celtics. The Kings have invested more in Cousins development than they are willing to write off at this point, and whether this is a cry for relocation or just the flailing of a youngun trying to find his place, he will remain a King.Or he will end up on a team that has no more chance of achieving greatness than Sacramento, because there are lots more of those than there are Lakers or Celtics.For the moment, he is a player whose game is trending upward but who is still more 20 years older than he realizes. The Kings are bad, but he is still struggling to understand how much of this team is about him and how much is not. Saturday night, it was about him. Sunday night in Phoenix, it wont be. What comes after that depends entirely on how well he and Petrie can express themselves toward the common goal of making Cousins the best King he can be.Because the alternative may not be Cousins the Laker, but Cousins the Timberwolf, or Cousins the caricatured malcontent -- just to name two teams he wants to be on even less than the Kings.