Posted November 23, 2013

Chris Paul says DeMarcus Cousins needs ‘guidance’ after postgame handshake dis

Ben Golliver, Chris Paul, DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings

There’s leaving someone hanging … and then there’s this.

Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins grabbed teammate Isaiah Thomas by the jersey and dragged him away from a postgame handshake with Chris Paul following L.A.’s 103-102 victory on Saturday.

Sacramento had a chance to steal a road victory in the game’s closing seconds, but a mid-range jumper by Cousins came up well short. After making the game-deciding free throw with two seconds remaining, Paul sought out his fellow point guard for a high-five after Thomas scored 22 points (on 5-for-12 shooting) and dished five assists in 33 minutes off of the Kings’ bench.

Instead, Cousins intervened, pulling a surprised Thomas towards Sacramento’s locker room. There was no turning back, not even when Paul continued walking towards the Kings’ bench with a hand extended.

(Fox Sports West)

DeMarcus Cousins drags Isaiah Thomas away from Chris Paul. (Fox Sports West)

“He’s young, man,” Paul said of Cousins during a televised postgame interview on Fox Sports West. “He don’t know no better. He needs some guidance. It is what it is.”

Cousins, 23, received a lucrative four-year contract extension from the Kings in September and he’s taken on an enhanced leadership position this season. Paul is hardly the first person to suggest that Cousins needs to grow up, as his list of run-ins with the NBA league office and referees is a long one: he was suspended two games for a postgame incident with Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott, he was docked one game for a low blow on Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo, he was suspended another game by the Kings for “unprofessional behavior,” he was ejected for delivering a flagrant foul 2 to the Mavericks’ Vince Carter,  he was ejected for arguing with the officials at halftime of a game against the Jazz and he was tossed for a flagrant elbow to Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy.

Believe it or not, this is the second handshake-related incident involving the Clippers this week. Byron Mullens refused to shake hands with Thunder rookie center Steven Adams by intentionally leaving him hanging during the closing seconds of an Oklahoma City Thunder victory. Adams hilariously made due by shaking his own hand.

Generally speaking, a snub is a snub is a snub, but Paul seems justified in feeling a little extra disrespected considering the circumstances. He’s not only a veteran but an All-Star, and judging by his postgame praise for Thomas he likely had a message he wanted to deliver to the up-and-coming 24-year-old. A quick handshake after a back-and-forth game that went down to the wire isn’t a sign of weakness on Thomas’s end; really, it’s just standard practice.

Refusing handshakes is one thing — a petty thing, to be sure — but making a huge show of it is quite another. Mullens should have obliged with Adams with a brief courtesy shake, but at least he didn’t go out of his way to make a major scene about how he was avoiding Adams. Plus, even though Thomas is listed at 5-foot-9, he’s fully capable of making his own decisions and he doesn’t need to be treated like a child.

This isn’t a major sportsmanship violation by Cousins but it’s one that Paul will surely remember. The Clippers will visit Sacramento on Nov. 29, so circle that date on your calendar now.

Paul finished with 22 points (on 7-for-13 shooting), nine assists and six rebounds in 38 minutes. DeAndre Jordan added 17 points (on 6-for-6 shooting) and 12 rebounds for the Clippers.

Cousins finished with a game-high 23 points (on 10-for-22 shooting), 19 rebounds and seven assists in 38 minutes.

The Clippers improved to 9-5 with the win; the Kings dropped to 4-8.

19 comments
MrArlington
MrArlington

Cousins is a player who is about winning and takes losses personally. A lot of players, possibly Thomas, try to get in close with the stars of the league for bragging rights and to name drop at the bar. Props to Cousins.

DavidHarte
DavidHarte

Paul is being kind.  Cousins is the scarecrow of the NBA: he has no brain.

Unprecedented
Unprecedented

Cousins is a major disaster waiting to happen.  If i was a NBA GM I would avoid him like the plague. I feel bad for Zay in all of this... It was Cousins who pulled him away and rather than make a bigger incident out of it.. he simply went along with the flow.  Had he resisted it would have been blown into a huge incident.. that being said.. Im sure he had words for cousins once they got back to the locker room and i can guarantee you he wont interfere with Thomas showing sportsmanship again.  Zay is a grown man who has a bit of a mean streak himself... he won't stand by while a teammate or anyone attempts to embarrass him.  I applaud his decision making at the time of the incident. 

KerryHinkleJr
KerryHinkleJr

A LOT of the people taking up for Cousins on here are University of Kentucky fans.  We all know they exude AWESOME SPORTSMANSHIP....

B84
B84

chris paul is a a d o u c h e b a g. guard your nuts!

Mark112
Mark112

Maybe Cousins doesn't want his teammate breaking bread with a coach killer like Chris Paul. Chris' grammar: "He don’t know no better," could use an upgrade as well. Despite his mental shortcomings, Cousins will be the best big man in the league before long, although that's not saying all that much. He can shoot free throws with his eyes closed better than the mental deviate that masquerades as a big man in Houston.

eddie767
eddie767

With him,Cousins,being the leader,Sac is always be a loser. What's wrong with a little dap from the best to someone who schooled him? If it wasn't for Cousins ineptitude,Sac would've won. Talk to him Shaq,or the season won't be pretty for a certain team thought of Max player.

ShawnKemp2012
ShawnKemp2012

I say good for you, Demarcus!  It's good to see someone pissed off about losing a basketball game.  The league is so chummy chummy.  

nubiantimes
nubiantimes

What's that famous saying.    "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser"

me1
me1

Paul called it as it is. Good job.

SirQ
SirQ

hate to be that guy but it was byron mullens who snubbed steven adams, not ryan hollins.

great article, though. i think what cousins did wasn't necessarily done in malice but an attempt to show sacramento's "toughness". just came off the wrong way.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@MrArlington No, actually, Cousins is one of the biggest losers in the entire NBA.  He has more talent than 95% of the league but his selfish, bone headed attitude makes him a liability.

Not only does he lack dignity and class himself, but he takes it upon himself to "lead" by chastising his team mates for being good sports.

Cousins should worry more about how to be a good team mate and how to stay focused during a game so he's not always two steps slow on defense. 

jayjay_67
jayjay_67

@Mark112 Cris is coach killer? are foloowing the NBA or just watching 3rd grade basketball, VDN contract expired and the clippers did not renew it, he was not fired like the Sacramento Queen's  coach.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@Mark112 Also, Chris Paul as a coach killer?  Vinnie Del Negro got fired because he's a terrible basketball coach.  He was terrible in Chicago, which is why he got fired there, and he was terrible in LA, which is why he got fired.  

A coach killer is a player like Cousins, who gets a big contract and playing time because of his potential and talent, but never develops properly because of his poor attitude and lack of professionalism.  Chris Paul pushes his team mates to be better at basketball, and DeMarcus Cousins pushes his team mates to be poor sports and sore losers.

If there's one thing you can't afford to be when DeMarcus Cousins is your team mate it's a sore loser, because with Cousins on your team, you will lose a lot.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@Mark112 Cousins will never be the best big man in the NBA, because there will always be some younger player who has talent and takes his job seriously enough to study film, work during the summer, and concentrate during games, none of which Cousins has shown a willingness to do.

M20
M20

@Mark112 LOL.  DeMarcus Cousins, crusader for coaches.

eddie767
eddie767

@Mark112 You may be right about Cousins,i doubt it,but Paul isn't a coach killer. His contract was up and he wasn't re-signed.