Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. (PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES)
SACRAMENTO, CA - On Sunday, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was kicked out of his fourth game of the season after being issued a flagrant-two foul for elbowing Milwaukee Bucks guard Mike Dunleavy in the back of the head.
On Tuesday afternoon, Cousins addressed the media following a team practice, which he did not participate in, sounding more like a victim rather than the aggressor.
"The whole situation is based off my reputation - which is unfair," Cousins said.
Cousins was undercut by Dunleavy late in the third quarter as he collided into the left leg of the 22-year-old Kings center, causing him to go to the floor in pain.
Cousins was able to get back to his feet while looking for Dunleavy. He limped back to the Kings bench during a timeout. Immediately following the timeout, Cousins met Dunleavy at midcourt to ask him if he collided with him intentionally.
"I really didn't know if he did it on purpose and that's what I asked him," Cousins said.
According to Cousins, Dunleavy's responded: "What if it was, what are you going to do about it?"
Both Dunleavy and Cousins were issued double-technicals for the conversation by official Scott Foster, who trailed the two walking from midcourt, listening to the conversation.
On the very next play following the doble-technical fouls, Cousins struck Dunleavy with a right elbow to the back of his head. Officials reviewed the play and issued him a flagrant-two foul, resulting in his ejection at the 3:26 mark of the third quarter.
After getting a chance to view a replay of the collision later that night following his ejection, Cousins said he "absolutely" thought Dunleavy intended to hurt him.
On Tuesday, Cousins was asked if his elbow to Dunleavy was intentional.
"It really wasn't," he said. "I mean, if you see the replay, it's really not that hard as he acted it out, but it really wasn't (intentional)."
While Cousins insists the elbow was not in retaliation, he was quick to point out that "it was very bad timing" on his part.
Foster previously ejected Cousins from a game in Salt Lake City against the Jazz on Feb 4, where Cousins referred to him as a "(bleeping) female" after issuing him a technical foul.
Due to a bruised left leg suffered from the collision with Dunleavy, Cousins was unable to practice with his teammates.
The league had not yet announced any suspension stemming from the elbow to Dunleavy, although it is expected.
Cousins might be issued more than a one-game suspension since the elbow thrown connected to the head of Dunleavy, the perception that he acted in retaliation and his track record this season.
So far, Cousins was been suspended four times - three times by the league and once by the Kings organization. He now has five flagrant foul penalties and if he adds one more before the end of the season, he will be suspended for another game. He also has 12 technical fouls and is four away from yet another suspension.
By Sean Cunningham, SCunningham@News10.net