Six years into his professional career, DeMarcus Cousins has been a model of consistent on-court production, good for 20 and 10, with a player efficiency rating that is always near the league’s best. But like so many players who have come before him who have put up gaudy numbers on bad teams, he’s never come close to leading Sacramento to a playoff berth.
That’s not likely to change this year. As of this writing, the Kings are on pace to win 31 games, which even in an extreme down year for the Western Conference, should be nowhere near enough to earn the right to then get smoked by the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. And yet, even if the Kings do manage to keep their current pace, their underwhelming win total at the end of the year would still be a high-water mark for the franchise since Cousins joined the team in 2010. Think about that — Boogie, one of the most talented front-court players in the NBA — has never been on a team that has won even 30 games.
When you combine the team’s lack of overall success with several recent instances of on- and off-court shenanigans by Cousins, it kind of makes you wonder why team owner Vivek Ranadive has been so reluctant to entertain trade offers. Well, at least one NBA scribe believes that’s all about to change.
[Ed. Note: This USA Today update on the current state of the Kings was published after this piece was written]
Even before Boogie’s ill-timed ejection on Monday night when his team was putting up a good fight in Golden State, ESPN’s David Thorpe seemed to question his leadership. “Am I crazy to think that six years in, Cousins still plays like he only cares about himself on the court?” Thorpe asked on Twitter Sunday, perhaps rhetorically.
“Crazy talent,” he added. “Still not special.”