DeMarcus Cousins' first three years in the NBA have gone exactly as many expected they would: tantalizing glimpses of his incredible potential often hidden by his sullen on-court demeanor and frequent off-court incidents.
On Tuesday, he sat down with Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated for a wide-ranging conversation about his experience in Sacramento, which included several eyebrow raising passages:
I don't know what I did in college that was so bad to get that reputation. OK, there is footage of me and Coach Cal going at each other. That happens in sports. Coming into the league, everyone said I was going to be fat, I was the next Oliver Miller. I had all these red flags. I just feel I was never given a fair chance coming in.
[The Kings] wanted to get to know me but they were scared because of my reputation. I felt like it was bad on their part. I'm your player and you don't take the time to get to know me? You just go by what the rest of the world says?
It's hard to know what exactly he means by that. Members of the Sacramento organization interact him with him all the time, surely they've gotten to know him a little over the last three years? If by osmosis, if nothing else.
Here's what's likely to drive the Kings insane. Cousins admits that he has a problem controlling his temper:
It can be a simple thing, like a call going the wrong way, and it takes me all off. I've got a real problem when I know something is wrong or I feel something is wrong, I'm going to speak about it. I get it from my mother. It's a problem I have. I don't want to say I want to change it because it helped me get where I am. But at the same time, I have to learn to be quiet.
Yet, in the very next breath, he calls it an "insult" that Sacramento suggested he go to counseling about it:
I took it as an insult. That's another thing, our organization doesn't even know me. They were looking for an excuse. I don't believe that is the way to solve issues. I'm an emotional guy. It's as simple as that.
Let's follow the logic here. He admits he has a problem and that he hasn't done a good job of dealing with it, but he's adamant that he doesn't want any help fixing it.
For everyone's sake, let's hope that things in Sacramento get patched up so that their franchise big man is no longer the DeMarcus Cousins the Kings used to know.