Kings

Looming Cousins-Kings 'Boogiedom' deal makes perfectly mutated sense

Looming Cousins-Kings 'Boogiedom' deal makes perfectly mutated sense

DeMarcus Cousins, whose last big performance with the Sacramento Kings was punching out a defenseless chair, has apparently won the increased admiration of owner Vivek Ranadive and is about to become the signatory to a new mega-max contract that will pay him $207 million by the end of the 2022-23 season.

It is not yet known if the chair contemplates a civil suit given Cousins’ newfound riches.

But the new deal marks the evident cementing of one the National Basketball Association’s most bizarre fun-couple relationships. The Kings have frustrated the hell out of Cousins for years, and Cousins has frustrated the Kings for years, so why not do a deal that allows them to irritate each other for another six years?

There’s no reason at all. None whatsoever.

It is acknowledged by most people within the NBA diaspora that Cousins is the most gifted post man in the league. It is also acknowledged that he is six feet and 11 inches of exposed nerve endings, thereby making him must-see TV for any number of reasons.

So maybe Ranadive sees Cousins as the fulcrum for the next great reality show – “Life With And Without Boogie” seems like the logical counterprogramming to “The Bachelor,” which at some point must die the hideous death it deserves.

But we digress.

However you view Cousins, he is the quintessential King. Indeed, he is the quintessential Ranadive King – well-meaning, hard-working but almost cartoonishly volatile to the point of nightly meme-hood.

And if you can’t win (which the Kings can’t, at least not in the foreseeable future), you may as well meme.

The Kings have been the NBA’s longest enduring sitcom since taking over for the Donald Sterling Clippers in 2014, and alternating with the Clips before that. They have tested the patience of their fans so many times in so many ways that they are best suited to understand and roll with Cousins’ many walks into the woods.

So yes, this deal will make perfectly mutated sense to them. The money is absurd, the length is nerve-wracking, and it makes him all that much harder to move if either he or they weary of each other, but it screams Boogiedom. In fact, make that sentence read, “And as a result of all those things, it screams Boogiedom.”

Besides, and this is a question for those few poeple who are not diehard Kings fans, would you care about the Kings at all if not for Cousins?

Let me help you with that a bit. No. You wouldn’t.

Thus, he is worth every one of Ranadive’s dimes he can collect, all two-billion of them. May he never be traded, and may he never ask for a trade. And even if they try, and even if he does ask, may it never happen. This is a marriage made in the Bizarro World, and when he retires, the Kings must retire him in their rafters at the Golden 1.

Not his number. Him. In the flesh. Sacramento fans would totally get it.

DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'

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AP

DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'

Some professional athletes take a stand by kneeling on the sidelines or raising a fist into the air. Some write succinct tweets expressing their dismay with the current political climate in the United States of America. Others just get right to the point with a poignant off the cuff statement to a waiting camera.

Former Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins has certainly mastered the art of the cryptic tweet, but he’s also never been one to shy away from a direct question when asked. When an inquiry was thrown his direction about confederate statues in New Orleans and his home state of Alabama, Cousins was brief with his words, but very clear.

"Take all them mother****ers down," Cousins told TMZ while navigating a security line at the airport. "Take 'em all down.”

Cousins may not have chosen the most eloquent words, but his point of view is shared by plenty of others. He isn’t the first athlete to take a stand with regards to race in America over the last week as racial tensions have spilled out into the streets in Charlottesville, Virginia. Social media is filled with professional athletes adding their thoughts to the conversation.

The Warriors’ Kevin Durant has made it clear that he will not visit the White House and President Donald Trump, a visit most teams make following an NBA championship.

"Nah, I won't do that," the 8-time All-Star told ESPN on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now.”

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” Durant continued. “That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

Garrett Temple has used Twitter to make his thoughts known as well. Recently named the Kings’ Players Voice Teammate of the Year by the National Basketball Players Association, Temple has used his position as an NBA player to speak out multiple times.

Over the last week, he’s fielded questions and had plenty of discussions through social media on the issues of race and equality. His Twitter timeline is littered with thoughtful replies and some not so thoughtful ideas as well. Plenty of fans thanking him for using his position to further the conversation and of course, there is the occasional, “stick to sports” comment.

Agree or disagree, today’s athletes have huge platforms to share their opinions. From Cousins to Temple, there are varying degrees of engagement, but the time of players staying out of the discussion is long gone.

The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act

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AP

The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act

Gavin and Joe Maloof have gambled plenty in their lives, which is in part how they ended up losing the Sacramento Kings. They ran big, they hit a dry well, and they ended up selling the works.

So their decision to bet $880,000 on Floyd Mayweather in his “thing” with Conor McGregor for a $160,000 payout seemed the perfectly daft idea for two guys who were painted as perfectly daft when they were running the Kings and their other businesses into a freeway abutment on I-80.

In fairness, they are planning to donate their winnings to a number of charities in the name of their hangover drink (Never Too Hungover, although I might have gone with the more lyrical HurlNoMore), so it’s not like their hearts aren’t a place close to the mythical “right place.”

But it does beg the question, “Why don’t they just give $160,000 and skip the scam?” Because it wasn’t about charity, it was about promotion, and while there’s nothing wrong with promotion, attaching it to one of the seediest carnival events of the modern era makes it seem, well, kind of creepy.

Or maybe “creepy” is too strong. Maybe’s it’s just opportunism, which is more, well, Vegas-y.

Kings fans will remember the Maloofs as the family that saved the foundering team from the clutches of owner Jim Thomas, and then remember them as the family whose clutches Vivek Ranadive had to save the team from 15 years later. It’s the nature of most ownerships – you do good to eliminate a prior evil, and eventually become evil yourselves when the fans turn on you.

But the Maloofs aren’t evil – even their most strident critics will say that. They just saw an opportunity to scratch a bunch of itches at once – good-heartedness, advertising, gambling and Vegas’ most important product – selling you things you could never imagine wanting.

It almost makes you wonder if they harbor a secret itch to take the $160,000 and double down on behalf of the charities for another of their pet projects – the Vegas Golden Knights. If they put it on the Knights to win the Stanley Cup at 200-1, that’s $32,000,000. Then if they took that and . . .

. . . and before you know it, they’re trapped in the fantasyland of Las Vegas at its weirdest. Maybe it’s just performance art with more money than most of us can eat.