DeMarcus Cousins’ Sacramento Kings career has been rife with conflict. He’s clashed with Kings management as well as the media, with the latter bearing the brunt of his most recent incident. Cousins was filmed berating a Sacramento Bee reporter for mentioning his brother in an article about a nightclub fight in which the two were involved.
Now Cousins’ head coach, Dave Joerger, has jumped into the fray to stand up for his star player.
“I do think what the Sacramento Bee did the other day was just ridiculous,” Joerger said.
“This guy is the face of our franchise,” Joerger said. “He’s done and said some things that he wishes he could do over. He’s improved; he’s gotten better. But to go and use other reporters, third person, oh he bullies his coaches or he bullies, that is (trash). And to put it out there like that, that is ridiculous.”
Joerger did not defend Cousins for the way he reacted, nor should he — it was wildly inappropriate for a brawny 6’10 athlete to stand over a short, old reporter and scream at him the way he did. For his actions, the Kings announced they gave Cousins a “substantial fine” (but no suspension) and threatened “further discipline” if any more issues crop up. But the Bee‘s reporting of the incident upset people beyond just Cousins, and Joerger was already mad at the paper for airing his own personal details in an article about him buying a house.
“They put my family on blast, my wife, my two kids with their names and their ages in an article about my house,” he said.
There are public figures and there are private figures, and the blurring of those lines is what has gotten the Bee in trouble with the Kings both times. As for Cousins, he appreciated Joerger joining him in public criticism of the newspaper.
“I appreciate it. I think he understands where I’m coming from,” Cousins told The Undefeated. “I don’t really think it had anything to do with him trying to show that he has his player’s back. I generally think he understands where I’m coming from.”
“Of course, he dealt with a similar situation with the same people,” Cousins said. “He gets it. I respect him for that. I respect him for speaking out. He doesn’t have to. He went about it the right way. He spoke out on it. I respect him for that.”
The Kings are still rife with problems as a franchise, but mercifully those problems no longer seem to extend to the relationship between their star and their head coach. Also, it bears mentioning that Cousins didn’t just get into a fight in New York — he also put on one of his “Santa Cuz” charitable events. Just a reminder not to let the media’s relationship with a player define the player’s entire image.