The NBA Draft-DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins, where will he go? Will it be Minnesota? Will it be New Jersey? How about Philadelphia or Sacramento? Cousins, arguably one of the most talented and coveted players coming out of the draft, also comes with baggage according to some.

DeMarcus Cousins plied his trade this past season at Kentucky under the watchful eye of John Calipari and had a terrific year. His stats were good averaging 15.1 pts and 9.8 rebounds and his upside is tremendous.

However, his attitude may be the card that will scare some teams off. The power forward’s attitude has been questioned by many including some of his teammates, and that is not good news.

Potentially the best player in the draft could also turn out to be the worst in terms of behavior, maintenance and desire to win and compete.  The scary thing is, is that Cousins on one hand can be a game changer for the next 10 years or could be a malcontent playing for numerous clubs and never fully developing into the player he could potentially be.

Is it his age? Is it his desire? Is it moe than that for DeMarcus? Only he knows. But what he must begin to know is that he’s got to check his ego and his lack of maturity at the door or else he will not make it. Period.

His stock has already dropped a few spots with some clubs just worried to take a guy that will be a problem head case. They would rather get a player slightly less talented but a solid citizen than one who will create problem after problem.

A big boy he is, but can he shed the big baby in him? Who ever takes him in the 2010 draft better have some strong coaches who can penetrate into his world and also some strong kishkes in order to stomach the potential issues that he and the team will face.

If I was a general manager of one of the clubs I would not touch this guy with a 10 foot pole. I would take the sure thing and a player with maturity, a willingness to learn and win. Sure you need talent to succeed and win but don;’t discount the selfless players that dedicate themselves to win day in day out with lesser skills than some of the superstars.

Ask Lebron James, it’s a team that wins, not the superstar. The team must be made up of high quality and high energy individuals in order to make a club tick.

But hey, I may be way out on this one and Cousins becomes one of the greatest big men on the planet like Karl Malone, Moses Malone or Tim Duncan. But the warning signs are there. You could end up with a head case ala Latrell Sprewell or worse.

To all the GM’s, draft wisely and pick the guys that will help build your team, not tear it a apart. It’s always hard for one to change. It’s possible, however as The Captain, my father once told me, “Tigers don’t change their stripes”. And for DeMarcus Cousins this may be his story.

Check out the following links for more to read on Cousins:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/draft2010/columns/story?columnist=katz_andy&page=cousins-100620

http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/scott_howard_cooper/06/19/cousins/index.html

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/16858/demarcus-cousins-vs-nba-player-development

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?page=granderson/100529

Thoughts from the Pulpit

1) The New York Yankees got plastered yesterday in Arizona 10-4 with another brutal outing from AJ Burnett.  Arizona has not been a pleasant place for the Yankees as we all remember the 2001 World Series, when Mariano Rivera served up a 2 run bottom of the 9th to the Diamondbacks and gave them the World Series, UGGHHH! This will always haunt Yankees fans, yet so close, but in the end so far and a wait of 8 years to finally win the Championship once again.

2) Big controversy boiling here in Israel as the Cable Provider HOT has decided to pull the plug on ESPN and replace the channel with Eurosport 2. that will leave only YES as the sole distributor of ESPN in Israel. Now that is really bad news. One has to wonder what planet HOT executives are on. The NBA channel was yanked from Israel a bunch of years back and ESPN provides not only NBA, but also plenty of baseball, college sports, NFL as well as Sportscenter and other American sports. This is truly a disaster for Sports fans. Thankfully I jumped ship from HOT’s terrible service a couple of years back and I at least at the moment won’t be affected, but in Israel you never know. One reason why they may want to yank ESPN is that they want to hold up the sports fans hostage and raise the rates, because the cable companies know that sports is the biggest revenue generator for them, so why not, let’s see if we can squeeze a few more shekels out of the sports fan, especially this year when the World Cup is on free channels and not on PPV.