New Orleans Pelicans’ center DeMarcus Cousins was ejected from Monday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After slightly elbowing reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook in the noggin, Cousins was sent packing.
The narrative of course, will try and convict Cousins based on his checkered past. Let’s face it, he is the NBA’s resident fire-starter.
As former Pacer/Laker Ron Artest can attest to, that means that he will always draw the shortest straw.
Looking at the situation objectively, Cousins is only guilt of playing tough basketball and making a play.
If the situation revolved around 90-percent of the players in the league, ejection would not have been the remedy to the situation.
He simply made space for a defensive rebound, Westbrook got inadvertently popped and the Thunder star got his flop on to draw extra attention to the situation.
The sight of a top-5 money-maker is not what anybody wants to see especially at the hands of Cousins.
Making the situation crazier is the fact that the referees reviewed the clearout and STILL assess the flagrant 2 penalty.
Parents tell kid all of the time that ‘your reputation is worth more than anything.’ It’s a hard lesson to learn and on Monday Cousins was demonized for a crime that he didn’t commit…that time.
Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday stepped up after the game and discussed the situation with the media.
“We didn’t think it was that fair. He doesn’t do anything intentional,” Holiday said of Cousins. “We just wanted to win for him.”
Power forward Anthony Davis also discussed the matter.
“It was tough losing [Cousins], being one of our star players, but anything is liable to happen in a game,” Davis said. “So guys stepped up and were ready to play.”
The Pelicans stepped up and so did karma. When Cousins hit the showers in the third period, New Orleans trailed by four points.
The Pelicans went on to down the Thunder 114-107.
Had Cousins remained in the game, he almost certainly would have double-doubled as he already had 18 points, nine rebounds and four assists under his belt.
Moving forward, Cousins will have to silence doubters and officials with strong play. The unfortunate thing is that the NBA is forcing him to be perfect to have a career.
And no one is perfect.
Watch: DeMarcus Cousins Draws Flagrant 2