The draft is coming up, and every year there are a few guys who are “very talented, but….” It can either be medical history, their motor on the court or off the court attitude. A red flag pops up that makes everyone stop in their tracks – the guy could be an All-NBA kind of guy, or out of the league after his first contract. A guy like DeMarcus Cousins.
Boogie has a career that had all of the above. When on top of his game and attitude, Boogie was one of the best big men in the NBA. But his time in Sacramento was a combination of a bad organization and a temperamental superstar. No wonder it didn’t turn out well. Almost every year, Cousins had a new point guard and a new coach – that’s hard for anyone.
The worst episode was the one with George Karl in the coaching seat. Karl came in with a strong resume and an old school approach to culture building. The team went 44-68 (.393) during Karl’s tenure and the most notable thing was snake emojis being thrown in both directions. Boogie tweeted when rumors of Karl pushing the front office to trade Cousins surfaced.
Obviously, there’s no love lost between the two, and the truth is probably in the middle. Karl wasn’t the only person to doubt Boogie’s attitude and maturity, Boogie isn’t the only player to imply Karl plays dirty behind the scenes. We asked Karl straight and simple – why doesn’t he like Cousins?
The only thing I’d bring to the table on Demarcus is he has negative energy, and when things go wrong, he has powerful negative energy. … I love him as a player, he’s not a bad guy, he’s a good guy, smart guy, has good basketball IQ. I’m hoping he figures out his career.George Karl, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network
Karl explained Boogie has a problem with persevering through the challenging parts of an NBA game and season. When it gets tough, and things aren’t going your way is when Cousins becomes a factor of instability. That’s the exact opposite of what you need from your franchise cornerstone. Karl compared it to Carmelo and said he had similar issues with him in Denver.
Melo was difficult. Melo played the blame and shame game way too much. Pointing fingers doesn’t win games. Trusting your team and pointing the finger at yourself wins games.George Karl, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network
Karl concluded he didn’t get the organizational support from ownership and the front office to set a tone he wanted to. In his days, the coach was consulted a lot more about roster moves and decisions, while nowadays, at least in his experience, it’s “you just coach.”
Boogie would probably say he doesn’t think Karl’s wishes were honest. We can’t say, but we definitely join them. We hope Boogie is healthy and a team gives him a chance to play this season and contribute on the biggest stage. We know he has the talent. The time he spent in New Orleans, Golden State, and LA indicated he has the attitude as well.