This is the time of year when investors decide whether to dump their lousy stocks and write off a loss on their taxes or hang on to their weak performers and pray for a miracle.
Unfortunately for the Sacramento Kings, I don’t think the team’s owners can get a tax loss on their investment in DeMarcus Cousins, and they’ll be hard-pressed to find a buyer willing to give them much in return for their damaged goods. They can pray for a turnaround, but they run the risk their would-be star will totally poison what remains of team morale and community support.
If you want to see what the team is dealing with, check out this video of an interview yesterday with the reinstated but still-nonplaying Cousins. The 6-foot-11 Cousins does not look like a repentant center who is ready to learn from his mistakes and do battle with the New York Knicks tonight.
Kings’ executives don’t seem to know what to do with their star. After team president Geoff Petrie and coach Keith Smart agreed Saturday to suspend Cousins “indefinitely” for screaming obscenities at Smart last Friday, Cousins was mysteriously reinstated after a one-game absence. Smart then declined to take Cousins on a road trip to Portland. His status for tonight’s game has not been disclosed.
Last January, Petrie was more steadfast when he decided to fire coach Paul Westphal, who had engaged in a public dispute with Cousins.
”We’re in a situation here where you can’t take a philosophical vacation because things are happening in real time,” Petrie said then. ”You start to keep seeing the same things over and over again, you can’t sit around and meditate forever about how you’re going to approach them or try and change them.”
While NBA executives typically choose to back players in disputes with coaches, Petrie should have had the foresight to see Cousins would cause future problems. He had a long history of causing dissension. Perhaps Petrie missed my Jan. 2 blog headlined “Kings should send Cousins packing.”
About that same time, the incoming Smart, asked how he would approach Cousins differently after watching Westphal’s relationship with the center go sour, said: ”Probably have a good relationship with him.”
By this time, Smart and Petrie have probably seen the error of their ways, and the team’s main owners, the Maloof brothers, must realize they have another investment on the rocks. With luck, they’ll find a sucker who will take Cousins off their hands.