Boogie (or DeMarcus for you common folk) happens to be one of those NBA players I find myself constantly defending against an onslaught of vitriol splattered out by the league, fans, and anyone else who has sat through a Sacramento Kings game in the last 3 years. The dude gets a really bad rap, albeit much of the actions are on him, but most of his critics miss the point about players with troubled personalities.
Whether it’s verbal altercations, arguments with coaches, or suspensions, Boogie has had trouble keeping his noise clean so far in his short NBA career. Though, with all of his on-the-court and locker room issues, I have never heard of him getting into any legal trouble or having any criminal activity going on. But due to his basketball troubles, he’s painted like some sort of NBA bad guy. It’s like he’s freaking Joeffrey Cousins1 or something. His sinister plan is to uproot the Kings from the hollow ground they’ve been planted in since Chris Webber and Vlade Divac hung them up.
While Boogie has had some bad attitude episodes in his career and doesn’t seem like the most friendly or marketable star, I’d like to point out that all NBA stars aren’t created equally. Not everybody can be Kevin Durant; tattoos where you can’t see them, book bags, smiles, and big nerd glasses. Some players are raw, brash, and unforgivingly put their personalities out there for the world to see. While this may make people uncomfortable, it’s the landscape we were presented, and while the Kings maybe wish they had a more coachable, charismatic star, they got anchored to Boogie so now they must make the best of what they have.
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) August 13, 2013
What they have is one of the most talented big men in the game. Despite the slight downtick in his 2012 – 2013 campaign, this year Boog had career highs in points, rebounds, blocks, and minutes played. With another year under his belt brings more maturity, a greater sense of leadership, and never tasting the playoffs has to provide a extra tick of motivation. Without a doubt, Sacramento is Cousins’ team. He’s going into his fifth year and the young guys will be looking to him for guidance in a way they haven’t before; I believe Cousins can shine in this light.
The emotion that sports elicits from fans, media, and any other stake holding group we can think of is a uniquely powerful force. People have sports themed wedding receptions, sports tattoos, get in to sports inspired fights at bars, you name it you can probably find some sports related thing about it. What gets lost in the fray is our perspective that we would have in normal living situations. DeMarcus Cousins can be written off by emotion fans because all they see is a selfish athelete who should be better behaved, and perform well for their fantasy team, or actually put together a competent season in the western conference. But in real life certain people take longer to “get it” then others and that’s okay.
We all do immature things even in our adult states, just yesterday I ripped a relatively new shirt I bought in half out of anger of losing a game of NBA 2K at the last second to a BS contested Steph Curry mid-range fall away jump shot. Did I mention it was well contested? Yes I did – moving along; the next morning I woke up and looked at what I did to a perfectly good shirt over a game that means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of life except bragging rights between friends and I thought “how stupid of myself.” My much more reasoned self looked at that shirt like nothing about last night was worth the $20 or more I just wasted in a fit of anger. You see what happened there? My immaturity allowed my emotions to get out of hand to the point I needed to have a quick morning silliquoy in the bathroom mirror about life. But through that moment I learned from my flaws and maybe in the smallest increment measurable, I am a better person.
Juxtapose my insignificant 2K game to the NBA in which DeMarcus has devoted his heart and soul to and tell me a kid in his early-twenties isn’t allowed to have some growing pains. It’s a part of life; I hate self-righteousness more than dentist appointments, and that Michael Fassbender movie The Counselor2. The biggest reason I hate it is because it’s somewhat equivalent to someone telling you to never make mistakes, and miss out one of the most powerful learning experiences there is: failure.
Boogie has the right to fall over and over and over until the NBA either gives up on him, or he does what all successful people do: rise through adversity. Some people have to rise though a tough upbringing, financial hardship, health issues, and in Boogie’s case immaturity. It’s not like he’s out breaking the Law, or half the things NFL players are doing. He’s just a kid that maybe is taking a little longer to grow up then you did, so do me a favor and cut him a little slack… will ya?
See you all next week,