Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is known for being a bit of a hot-head, and his temper was on full display Sunday night when he was ejected for elbowing Milwaukee Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy in the head.
The altercation happened late in the third quarter with the Kings trailing by nine. Moments before, Dunleavy and Cousins banged knees as the Bucks' forward attempted to box out the Kings' big man. Cousins did not take too kindly to that, giving it to Dunleavy and the Bucks' bench.
After a timeout, both Cousins and Dunleavy received technical fouls for jawing at each other before the ball was put in play. The technical was Cousins' 12th of the year, which is tied for second-most in the NBA. Cousins then threw the elbow on the ensuing possession, resulting in a flagrant-2 and his league-high fourth ejection of the season. Cousins is tied for the lead in flagrant-2 fouls with three.
Here's a video of the incident:
Naturally, Dunleavy was none too pleased about what happened, and he did not mince his words after the game. Dunleavy called out Cousins for his immaturity in The Sacramento Bee:
"I'm not even going to begin to reason with someone like that," Dunleavy said. "I don't know where to begin. I don't even know what happened the first time around. I thought I was just trying to box him out, a bunch of bodies fell and collapsed, and there was a timeout. Next thing you know, he starts barking at me. We try to run a play, and he elbows me in the head. I don't know."
More Dunleavy: "He came up and confronted me about whatever. He's just always talking, always running his mouth, you know? He should leave people alone."
And still more from Dunleavy: "He came up to me and got in my face about stuff. And we're here to play basketball, and this guy's got other stuff going on, obviously."
Ever since he came into the league, there have never really been any questions about Cousins' talent. He's widely regarded as one of the most skilled big men in the NBA. But his immaturity has always held him back, and he will continue to be criticized until he can rein in his temper.
Blowing up in this situation was especially silly, as Cousins was in the midst of a huge performance. With Larry Sanders out for the Bucks, Cousins dominated down low, putting up 24 points and 10 rebounds in not even three quarters of action. The Kings ended up losing, 115-113.