Ailene Voisin: Kings’ Cousins hurting his case for Olympics team

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 9:53 AM

This is number longer a laughing matter. The most talented middle in basketball, the two-time All-Star who should be a lock to create the U. S. Olympic Team, keeps tripping over his own two feet.

Ailene Voisin: Kings’ Cousins hurting his case for Olympics team

Friday is April Fools’ Day, but chilly it with the jokes. This is number longer a laughing matter. The most talented middle in basketball, the two-time All-Star who should be a lock to create the U. S. Olympic Team, keeps tripping over his own two feet.

And DeMarcus Cousins wonders why they hurt?

For the third time in his six seasons, the Kings middle has been given a one-game suspension for exceeding the league limit (fifteen) on technical fouls. When the Miami Heat visits Sleep Train Arena on Friday for the final time, the Kings’ leading scorer and rebounder – and we're not referring to him as a leader – will look the game on TV somewhere, probably brooding, undoubtedly convinced he's a victim.

His latest transgression adds a twist to a familiar pattern. This time he'd an accomplice: With 6.7 seconds remaining in Wednesday’s triumph over the WA Wizards, point guard Rajon Rondo responded to a five-second violation by sarcastically applauding referee Marc Davis; Cousins rushed over and joined the party, earning his sixteenth technical as a result.

Cousins, twenty-five, is playing an increasingly risky game. Cursing out the coach on multiple occasions. Directing a profanity-laced outburst at a team employee at the Toronto airport. And on the night the underachieving Kings win their thirtieth game for the first time since 2007-08, he ruins it with another absurd reaction.

In the brief term, this latest development does two things: It strengthens the argument that Cousins should be traded before his cost plummets and he inflicts further damage on a franchise he grips by the throat; and it diminishes his prospects for the U. S. Olympic team.

Kings common manager Vlade Divac and whomever he hires as his top front office executive will work double shifts this offseason. Number player on the roster is untradeable. The phones will ring with inquiries about Cousins; they just won’t ring off the hook. But there will be suitors, and somewhere out there is a excellent deal to be pursued. Patience is a virtue … in tiny doses. That’s on Divac.

Cousins’ inclusion on the Olympic team is on Jerry Colangelo. The chairman of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Basketball will oversee the choice of a twelve-man roster after the NBA Finals, and in contrast to the past two Olympics, when prospects competed at tryout camps in Las Vegas, the NBA season serves as the audition.

Colangelo anticipates the most challenging cutdown process since he became czar a decade ago.

Of the list of thirty finalists that includes Cousins and Rudy Gay, only Anthony Davis (knee surgery) and Chris Paul (fatigue) have withdrawn. Health issues and contract status is likely to define the availability of other stars, while three-time Olympian LeBron James is tabling his decision until after the season. But there will be number dearth of interested participants, among them Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard and Dwight Howard.

“I perceive very comfortable with the depth of our group, and we'll continue to create adjustments based on who's committed, who's healthy,” Colangelo said. “And we’re not concerned about smalls or bigs. We've guys who can play multiple positions. It’s just a matter of going through the screening process.”

Ah, yes, the screening process. With a heavier emphasis on analytics than in the past, Colangelo and his staff are studying various combinations, assessing the physical condition of the candidates, and monitoring interaction between teammates, players and coaches, players and referees.

Cousins, who participated with Team UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for four consecutive summers, enhanced his Olympic prospects with a solid performance in the two thousand fourteen World Cup finale against Serbia. But while the World Cup tournament is the more prestigious event elsewhere, the Olympics has distant greater allure for the league’s superstars in the United States.

Given the competition, this was the season for Cousins to be on his best behavior and in the best shape of his career, and yet he's faltered on both counts. His wt and stamina have ebbed and flowed. Only days ago, he revealed plans to undergo a procedure to alleviate the fixed pain in his feet. He expects to be immobile for four to six weeks but healthy if chosen for the Olympics.

“We’re alert DeMarcus has had problems with his feet, and we’ll look how that unfolds,” Colangelo said. “We’re also alert he keep up enormous numbers this year, even though the team didn’t win as many games as they'd hoped. We’re trying to hold things in perspective. We weigh everything. ”

Davis’ withdrawal and the Ltd no of huge men should work in Cousins’ favor. But coach Mike Krzyzewski frequently favors faster, smaller lineups, and he's a stickler for conditioning. He isn’t inclined to tolerate nonsense, either.

Cousins needs to avert another suspension, get care of his feet and hope his self-inflicted behavioral wounds haven’t knocked him out of the Games.

2015-sixteen

sixteen

Cousins (sixteen)

2014-15

fourteen

Russell Westbrook (seventeen)

2013-fourteen

sixteen

Cousins (16)

2012-thirteen

seventeen

Cousins (seventeen)

2011-2012

12

Kendrick Perkins (13)

2010-2011

14

Dwight Howard (eighteen)

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