The most effective scouting report on DeMarcus Cousins is not always double teaming him on the block or forcing him to shoot the ball from mid-range , where his shooting percentage is a meager 25%.
On some nights, the opposing team’s best strategy against the man they call “Boogie Cuz” is to put him in a position where his emotions will get the best of him.
While watching DeMarcus play at the Team U.S.A. training camp invite in July, Kobe Bryant had some words of advice for the young big man.
“All he has to do is continue to work, continue to keep his level head. That’s all he has to do. That’s all he has to do,” Kobe repeated for emphasis. “If he can do that and can let his basketball talent speak for itself, he’ll be fine. He gets in trouble when he starts letting his emotions get the best of him, now people start talking about that as opposed to his game.”
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Cousins has the talent to be a force in the league at the Center position, but his maturity has been called into question on various occasions. This season, Cousins, along with Carmelo Anthony, leads the league with the most number of technical fouls(5). Cousins was also ejected once in a November game against the Utah Jazz. The NBA also suspended Cousins for two games for his role in a post-game confrontation with San Antonio Spurs announcer Sean Elliot. All of the on-court problems that the Sacramento Center has experienced all point back to one thing—his immaturity.
It is apparent that DeMarcus Cousins has trouble keeping his emotions in check and needs some guidance from someone who know what it is like to be in his position. There should never be any shame in asking for assistance while going through a growing process, especially since Cousins is only 22 years old. After all, everyone has some weakness in their character, and to completely bash a young man living in a grown man’s league without offering some help is unreasonable.
I have created a short list mentors who I believe can really help Cousins shed his immature tag.
1. Charles Barkley
Whether Chuck wants to or not, he is the perfect mentor for Cousins. Once declaring that he wasn’t a role model, Barkley struggled keeping his emotion in line . But as Barkley matured, he learned what was acceptable and what wasn’t. From time to time he’ll still say some things that make a person shake his or her head, but Chuck has come a long way. And in this case, yes Chuck, you are a role model.
2. Kevin Garnett
Does this look like a mature role model? Kevin Garnet has long been known for his ridiculous antics in the heat of a game. Even though he may toe the line of the petulancy, there is no one who plays with more passion that Mr. Garnett. He can show Cousins exactly how to play with extreme emotion without going too far. It will be tough to mentor Cousins during the long NBA season, but the off-season is a perfect time for KG to tutor Cousins much like Tim Duncan does with Roy Hibbert.
3. Ray Lewis
Need I say more?
Ray Lewis knows a few things about being successful, and Cousins cannot go wrong learning from him.
4. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is notorious for failing to keep a grip on his emotions. However, Bryant knows exactly how to channel his insatiable hunger and passion to fuel his performance. If Demarcus Cousins learned to compartmentalize his anger by allowing it to improve his game, the sky is the limit. Like young Kobe, DeMarcus has tangible zeal, but it needs to be used correctly and at the right time.