The Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins mutually announced that he would be sticking around for the foreseeable future, as he is going to be the first recipient of the super-ultra-mega-maximum max contract available under the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement. He’s set to make one-fifth of a billion dollars over the next five years. The reaction from local media? Saltiness. They’ve spent multiple years spending their free time crafting “DeMarcus Cousins needs to go” articles and playing around with the ESPN Trade Machine. They’ve looked up synonyms for “clubhouse cancer” more times than they’ve looked up his advanced stats. In short: they’ve made it their mission to run him out of town.
He called out two of them, Andy Furillo and Ailene Voisin, in a viral video where he turned the tables on them. Cousins was asked if he wanted to stay in Sacramento, and his response was to take a microphone and ask them if they wanted him to stay. Furillo let out a sheepish “No,” but Voisin could not be heard. Cousins and the media have been at odds for over half a decade, but it’s time for Cousins to be the bigger man and bury the hatchet with the media.
This would be a two-fold signifier that the Sacramento Kings made the right move. First, Cousins is nothing if not emotional. He is an ethereal talent who has only one thing between him and absolute greatness: himself. He’s already shown that nobody in the league can stop him, except him. He mopes, he pouts, he gets technical fouls. This is a part of his game he definitely needs to clean up. Burying the hatchet with the media would signal that Cousins has turned himself around mentally. He can’t lose his emotion entirely, but it would show he gets it.
Second, the local media could finally do something productive with their time instead of crafting up reasons why they don’t like Cousins. The easing of relations between the two would make for smooth sailing, if just Cousins would bury the hatchet first. The coverage for the team would get better and it would make for better buzz surrounding the team. It would also make it less likely the local media take the opposite side in any DeMarcus Cousins debate (most recently Cousins vs. George Karl).
DeMarcus Cousins will soon sign off on the biggest contract in NBA history, and he will be the face of the Sacramento Kings for years to come. While countless ink has been spilled over “DMC wants out” and “the Kings should trade him now before he gets nothing,” Cousins is here to stay. His first order of business as the undisputed head of the franchise is make up with local media—if only to make things easier on him.