Thursday , Dec , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Westphal and Kings ‘Choking’ with DeMarcus Cousins

Westphal said he didn’t see what Cousins did until watching the replay of the game. He said he announced the fine only because Cousins’ action happened publicly.

"It’s unprofessional, childish, embarrassing, and it won’t be tolerated," the coach said. When asked if Cousins got that message, Westphal left that open for debate. "He’s been told that," Westphal said. "I don’t know what he understands."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What was the worst thing you did at 19?

You don’t have to admit what you did; however, you and I know it was worse than making a choke sign at another player during an NBA game.

Well, that was DeMarcus Cousins’ crime.

The Sacramento Kings’ teenage power forward made a choking gesture at the Golden State Warriors’ Reggie Williams after he missed the first of two free throws. 

(The crime.)

Sure, Cousins was wrong. And sure, he deserves to be punished.

However, Coach Paul Westphal declared jihad, bashing him to reporters, fining him, and removing him from the starting line-up.

Worst of all, instead of making choke-gate a ‘teachable’ moment, Westphal publicly embarrassed Cousins and implied he wasn’t a good person.

Would Westphal have reacted the same way if, say, Hall of Fame post Kevin Garnett made a choking gesture?

Would Westphal have reacted the same way towards Cousins if the Kings won the game, weren’t sitting at 5-21, and his job wasn’t on the line?

Westphal’s reaction says as much about him as the choke gesture does about Cousins. There’s a difference, though. Westphal is an adult, Cousins is a kid.

It’s Westphal’s job to teach, groom, and mentor Cousins, as well as criticize him. Instead the Kings have Sam Dalembert preaching professionalism to Cousins.

Oh, the irony. Dalembert, of course, quit the Canadian national in the middle of the Olympic qualifying tournament, routinely showed up late for practice with the Philadelphia 76ers, and is often referred to by league sources as a cancer.

This is the state of the Kings. And Cousins’ behaviour is a reflection of their failures as an organization.

Hopefully, executive Geoff Petrie is taking note. Hopefully, the Maloof brothers, who own the team, are taking note.

It’s time for change in Sacramento.  And we`re not talking about removing Cousins from the starting line-up.

–Oly Sandor.

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