When DeMarcus Cousins came into the NBA, there were always concerns about his ability to conform to coaching in the league. Cousins has all the physical talent in the world, but it always felt like he would have trouble adjusting to the mental aspects of the game and dealing with adverse situations appropriately.
It appears that such a situation has emerged in the start of his second season with the Sacramento Kings. The team (behind head coach Paul Westphal) released a shocking public statement regarding their star center. Sam Amick was on the story early.
Everything that happens on a team does not become known to the public. This is how it should be. However, when a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely.
DeMarcus Cousins has demanded to be traded. In the best interest of our team as we go forward, he has been directed by me, with the support of management, to stay home from the New Orleans game tonight.
It's uncertain why the Kings would make such a statement. It can't possibly help the team's relationship with Cousins, and if Sacramento does try and trade him, it lowers Cousins's overall value as a piece because of his potential headcase issues.
To further complicate a bizarre situation, Cousins's agent also denies these rumors. Amick again.
Cousins' agent, John Greig, tells SI.com: "DeMarcus never demanded a trade. I'm surprised the Kings, if they believe the player wanted..."
Greig: "...a trade, wouldn't have made a phone call to his representative. Maybe Westphal is just feeling the heat early this season."
Cousins has a lot of issues, but he is still exceptionally talented. If the Kings have to make a choice between keeping their center or their coach, they might have to lean toward the former rather than the latter.
To discuss Cousins and the Kings, head on over to Sactown Royalty.