DeMarcus Cousins fined $20,000 and suspended one game for punching opponent and berating officials

Sacramento Kings centre DeMarcus Cousins has been given a $20,000 fine and one-game suspension by the league for punching an opponent and verbally abusing the officials against Houston.

DeMarcus Cousins faces an automatic one-game suspension if he receives another technical foul this season Image: Sacramento Bee/Getty Images

DeMarcus Cousins faces an automatic one-game suspension if he receives another technical foul this season
Image: Sacramento Bee/Getty Images

The NBA has handed Sacramento Kings’ centre DeMarcus Cousins a one-game suspension and fined him $20,000 following his involvement in two separate incidents during his team’s 129-103 loss to the Rockets on Tuesday.

Since joining the league in 2010, DeMarcus Cousins has had a history of losing his cool on the court, and in Tuesday’s contest against the Houston Rockets, Cousins again let his temperament get the better of him.

Cousins was issued a $20,000 fine after verbally abusing the game’s officials and refusing to leave the court in a timely fashion once he was ejected following his second technical foul on Tuesday night, he was also handed a one-game suspension for striking Rockets’ point guard Patrick Beverly in the stomach in the first three minutes of the game.

Early in the first quarter, Beverly cut through the paint to create space for a Dwight Howard isolation on the block. Cousins, who was defending Rockets’ forward Terrence Jones on the weak side, delivered a right-handed jab to Beverly’s midsection as he passed by the Kings’ big man. No foul was assessed during the play.

This marks the second time Cousins has been suspended for striking an opponent. Last season, he was suspended for punching one-time Dallas Mavericks guard OJ Mayo in the groin.

Cousins will now miss Sacramento’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, Feb. 28. Missing one game without pay will cost Cousins approximately $44,000.

The $20,000 fine given to Cousins was handed down following his ejection early in the third quarter, after he verbally abused the game’s officials for what he believed was an incorrect foul call. He was also judged to have not left the court in a timely manner following his second technical foul and subsequent ejection from the game.

With less than three minutes played in the third quarter, Cousins was called for a foul on Rockets’ centre Howard as he attempted to finish an alley-oop dunk over the Kings’ centre. There did not appear to be much contact on Cousins’ behalf and he vociferously protested the call.

At the next stoppage in play, Kings’ coach Michael Malone defended Cousins and disputed the call with referee Courtney Kirkland. However, Cousins left the bench to join in the conversation, aggressively marching towards the two and shouting at Kirkland, despite being restrained by assistant coach Corliss Williamson.

Kirkland called Cousins for his second technical foul, automatically ejecting him from the contest. Cousins continued to protest his innocence and refute the calls against him before being escorted to the locker room.

He left the game with only 16 points (on 6-for-13 shooting), six rebounds and his team down 89-58.

Following his ejection, Cousins apologised to his teammates and fans for his outburst.

Cousins now leads the league with 15 technical fouls and faces an automatic one-game suspension if he is to receive his 16th. Last season, Cousins lead the league with 17 technical fouls, and was also ejected four times. This is his first suspension this season.

Cousins’ temperament remains the only thing keeping him from being one of the league’s most impactful players. This season he is averaging 22.3 points and 11.5 rebounds through 49 games with the Kings, and narrowly missed All-Star selection for the Western Conference.

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