NEW YORK — Rare is the NBA player with little to no filter; there are simply too many buffers between players and the media these days, and they’re too protected to really hurt themselves with off-the-cuff remarks. Rarer still is the basketball talking head whose the same. When those two immovable forces run into each other, you get DeMarcus Cousins and Charles Barkley. Their similarities, which we think outweigh their differences, acts as perhaps the biggest wedge between the two. After Barkley cursed on national TV while discussing Sacramento clearing the hiring of George Karl with Cousins, the Kings center responded during his appearance with the media on the Saturday.
Here’s Chuck’s curse-laden diatribe about Cousins, who Barkley believes was behind the delayed decision by Sacramento to hire Karl (nevermind keeping temporary coach Tyrone Corbin in a state of flux).
“Why are they discussing it with him is my point? Yeah, I’m totally disgusted with that. He ain’t done nothing to deserve that time of power. He hasn’t done enough to deserve that kind of power. They stink. Why would you give a guy that young that type of power.”
That’s just total bullshit man!”
By way of ESPN, comes Cousins’ blasé rebuttal:
“It ain’t personal,” Cousins said when asked about the TNT analyst. “I mean, I don’t really respect the guy, but at the same time, I don’t really care what he thinks either.
“I don’t respect him and I don’t care what he thinks.”
Both Cousins and Barkley have little time for the hackneyed clichés that predominate NBA quote sheets. But while Cousins told NBA.com earlier this year his underdog story means, “I am a role model, absolutely,” Chuck is the opposite, as his infamous Nike commercial made pretty explicit:
As for what Chuck said about Boogie, he’s not totally off base. The problem at the center of Chuck’s public harangue lies with his assumption — as many, like USA Today’s Sam Amick reported, have assumed — that Cousins and his people have somehow held up the hiring.
“A lot of people don’t really know the real story about it,” Cousins said. “I never really had anything to do with it in the first place.”
If what Cousins says is true, and we’re more liable to believe Boogie than some others, it throws Chuck’s entire argument out the window. What if Boogie was just playing basketball this season, as he’s maintained from the beginning. And the only things he’s complained about stemmed from the initial termination of Mike Malone, which led to a precipitous drop in their level of play and some locker-room discontent, the wishy-washy way the Kings handled Corbin’s brief tenure spent on eggshells, and the delayed hiring of Karl — said to be made official during the mid-season break.
Cousins and Barkley shoot from the hip. Boogie has aired his feelings about Barkley before, and he has no problem saying, “I dislike [Chris Paul] a lot,” even though CP3 is the president of the player’s association and one of the more beloved players in the NBA.
That last quote from Boogie sounds exactly like something Barkley would say. We think they should be friends.