Interesting Article

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Interesting Article

Ailene Voisin: Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins on right track
By Ailene Voisin
[email protected]
Published: Friday, Dec. 31, 2010 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Friday, Dec. 31, 2010 - 10:34 am

DeMarcus Cousins could not have done this a month ago.

Flap his wings like an oversized egret while leading cheers from atop the press table. Jump down and immediately accommodate Gary Gerould with a radio interview. Sprint to the Kings' locker room after Wednesday's dramatic and uplifting finish to a lousy 2010.


The Drama King is exhausting … but progressing.

Baby steps. Huge strides. Wednesday night.

Those occasional backflips that result in fines and scoldings? Those silly turnovers and teeth-gritting fouls?
As the talented Cousins and his titillating rookie season continue, there actually are fewer misplays and more glimmers of maturity. So to quote an aging rocker who was more than a tad rebellious during his own boyhood, let it be. Sit back and enjoy the show. Grab some popcorn. Think cartoons.

You don't win with youth. You start with youth. But while awaiting Geoff Petrie's next major trades or the acquisition of a significant free agent or two, keep in mind that Cousins and Tyreke Evans are 20 and 21 years old, respectively. And that both have issues. And that both of their mothers are here for the holidays, cooking and chatting and scolding and encouraging their boys. What does that tell us?

Well, we know Evans has a sore left foot, but we know he can play. He isn't the reigning Rookie of the Year of, say, the polo league. And while Cousins keeps his coach in a chronic sweat, we know he can also play, that he cares, that's he's learning.

His turnovers are dropping. His decision-making is improving. His reaching fouls are diminishing. Progress, progress, progress. And look again; someone's been chiseling away at that big, beefy body. The 6-foot-11 Cousins these days is 270 pounds of baby muscle, not so much baby fat – a physical change reflected in his increased stamina.

A month ago, he would have needed a stepladder to reach the press table for his postgame cheerleading activities. He would have been too winded to chat with Gerould, never mind play a whopping, and terrifically effective 36:38 minutes in Wednesday's victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
"I'm trying to get better at everything," Cousins said. "I know that. But the more I play, I can play through my mistakes. I learn quick. I just need experience."

The Mobile, Ala., native has been cramming since opening day. And admittedly, it's been far from easy. In an eventful, even fitful three months, the former Kentucky star has been fined for shouting at coaches and trainers, fined for flashing the choke sign against the Warriors, twice yanked from the starting lineup.
His demonstrative demeanor has made him an easy target for the refs. The frequent frowns. The forceful head shakes. The glares, the shrugs, the sarcastic grins. The occasions when he leans over and places his head inside his massive mitts.

At times he feels picked on by his own people, and perhaps, not without some justification. Challenging, mouthy players tend to wear on coaches, even the best-dressed of the bunch like Paul Westphal.
"When you're his age, and the way he looks at life," said the Kings coach, "it's never going to be a smooth road. But DeMarcus really has been trying to become the player that everyone believes he can become."
About that second look. Westphal is taking it. After Cousins' impressive opening half against the Grizzlies, he started the rookie in the third quarter and went to him during a crucial late possession.

"I am not surprised," offered veteran Francisco García, referring to his young teammate's development. "He (Cousins) is working hard, staying after practice, shooting. Everybody is always knocking his attitude, but he's just a competitor, and he's going to be really, really good."

Imagine if the Kings start moving the ball? Start moving without the ball? If Cousins can provide the Kings with a consistent high-low threat? If the death-by-dribbling offense went away with 2010?
Three months into Cousins' career, we can only hope.

KINGS AT NUGGETS | Saturday, 6 p.m., CSNCA"When you're his age (20), and the way he looks at life, it's never going to be a smooth road. But DeMarcus really has been trying to become the player that everyone believes he can become."
PAUL WESTPHAL, Kings coach, on DeMarcus Cousins
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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Yeah, all the cousins haters

Yeah, all the cousins haters have been happy feeling as if they were proven right by demarcus but they fail to realize (or maybe they do realize they just dont care) that hes a rookie playing on a team with a bunch of other rookies or 2nd and 3rd year players who are trying to find their way. cousins has had inconsistent pt in part for disciplinary measures, coaches decisions etc he has the skills and hes shown in a good amount of games this season why we took him and what he can become. he does need to mature obviously and that will come with time. not every 20 year old will come into the league and be as mature as tyreke evans was/is and win rookie of the year. just give him time. in a couple years we'll be talking about how great he is and why he's a definite all star and that kind of stuff

Raef LaFrentz
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I'm rooting for Cousins and I

I'm rooting for Cousins and I always try to watch when he's on the floor.

The kid is really intriguing and I love his overall game.

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