This play happened at the 4:37 mark of the fourth quarter in Sacramento's win over Minnesota Thursday. That's DeMarcus Cousins standing with his hands on his knees for an entire play, even when Rudy Gay drew help and potentially opened up a basket cut and even when there was a loose ball on the floor just a few feet away.
Could this have been some sort of protest against Gay? On the one hand, maybe Cousins was just gassed. Stamina has been an issue for him since returning from a nasty bout of viral meningitis.
On the other, he's been vocal about his frustration with the Kings' play since the team fired Michael Malone and talked about playing an up-tempo style that may not suit Cousins' strengths. Consider, too, this circumstantial evidence:
- Cousins had five fouls, the fifth of which happened on a questionable call earlier in the quarter when Mo Williams blocked him from getting post position.
- Gay let Andrew Wiggins get right by him in the post for easy layups on the two previous Timberwolves possessions. Here was Cousins' response the first time:
- On the play before that, the Kings tried to get the ball to Cousins in the post, but Minnesota fronted, forcing a turnover. Cousins didn't run back on defense. (He was ultimately rewarded when the Timberwovles turned it over themselves, leading to a fast-break assist to Ben McLemore).
- On the play after that staredown, the Kings again tried to find Cousins in the post and again threw it away.
Either way, this is a bad look for a player that had done so much to shed his reputation early in the season. The Kings are fast becoming a sinking ship and the franchise player's body language is suffering as a result.
(All photos via FOX Sports North).