DeMarcus and Rondo Have Something In Common

The DeMarcus Cousins apology was forthcoming and expected once the Sacramento Kings hit him with what was labeled a “substantial fine” rumored to be 50 grand. The apology issued via statement- did he write it or did his agent?-came one year after the Rajon Rondo apology, issued via a statement. Both apologies happened in the month of December. Both apologized for remarks that were made in moments of high stress.

Rondo’s crime happened in a game. He dropped multiple homophobic bombs on referee Bill Kennedy who is gay but hadn’t come out yet. Rondo, at first, denied he said anything offensive. But the cameras picked up exactly what he said and he had to eventually ask for mercy.

Cousins, on the other hand, was caught up in a locker room meltdown with a reporter. It was also caught on tape and once the Sacramento Bee’s Executive Editor and Vice President wrote about it on a blog, calling Cousins a bully who likes to intimidate, the story went downhill fast with Cousins as the recalcitrant player who has no self-control.

In both cases, the apology was the right thing to do but in Rondo’s case it didn’t change perception, nor will it with Cousins. Both Cousins and Rondo are emotional personalities who have struggled to keep their negative feelings from spiraling out of control. They have a litany of offenses in their past that make you wonder if they are capable of change or if they even want to. To be clear, the behavior of Cousins and Rondo when they go off the deep end are not representative of players in the league but that isn’t the point. Cousins is the face of a franchise and like the saying goes, to much is given, much is expected.

Does it say something about his character, the repetitiveness of the offenses, like a hamster on a wheel going nowhere, nothing is really gained but a five minute social media trend?

His apology:

“There is a time, place and manners to say everything and I chose the wrong one. Like most people, I am fiercely protective of my friends and family and I let my emotions get the best of me in this situation. I understand my actions were inexcusable and I commit to upholding the standards of the Kings and the NBA. I apologize to my teammates, fans and the Kings organization for my behavior and the ensuing distraction and look forward to moving on and focusing on basketball.”

There wasn’t any mention of the reporter who kicked off this latest Cousins overreaction, there was no apology to Andy Furillo and if this really is a truth telling episode Cousins shouldn’t apologize to him. He wouldn’t mean it. It wouldn’t be sincere. Cousins has the right to dislike members of the media. He can even cross into hatred. What he cannot do is be abusive or disrespectful to people doing their job. If he apologized to Furillo, it should have been for that. Unless, privately, Cousins is resentful of that job on its merit, that there are writers who make money to cover his professional life and sometimes when it warrants it, his personal life.

The Kings and their “substantial” joke of a fine- 50 grand-  is .5% of Cousins $16 million dollar salary. The Kings and their organizational snooze fest are the bigger story. The chickens have finally come home to roost as Malcolm X used to say. They created this culture with Cousins, not checking him when he went on one of his emotional binges. You can’t unring the bell now. The problem is Cousins has gotten very comfortable going unchecked when he is being irrational and the Kings looking the other way only makes the problem worse.  Now they are locked into this perpetual song and dance.

People do grow up, though, there is that Cousins hope. But waiting for Boogie to finally mature is a painful process.