Charles Barkley and DeMarcus Cousins Feuding
DeMarcus Cousins, the center of the Sacramento Kings, is known as much for his difficult behavior as his talent. It has been long rumored that he kept notes on the negative things written about him and the names of those who wrote them, though he has a particular dislike of former NBA MVP and current TNT sports analyst Charles Barkley.
The feud started back when Cousins was still in high school, and was being scouted by the majors–by Barkley. To the press, Barkley complimented the then-teenaged Cousins’ talent but also criticized the center’s behavior, saying he was “disappointed,” something Cousins never forgot. He went off to the majors anyway, and was eventually picked up by the Kings when coach Paul Westphal suspended him, claiming that Cousins was “unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team; it cannot be ignored indefinitely.” The company at large supported Cousins and fired Westphal shortly thereafter.
However, since 2012, Cousins has been repeatedly suspended by the league for continuing “unprofessional behavior.” Incidents include confronting in a hostile manner color commentator Sean Elliott and player Tim Duncan, though Cousins did apologize to Elliott personally after the situation.
The problems between Cousins and Barkley have continued in fits and starts. As an analyst, Barkley has over the years repeatedly criticized Cousins’ attitude but praised his talent and ability. In a recent interview with the Bleacher Report, writer Rich Bucher profiled Cousins and reported on how Cousins has matured. Bucher also brought up Charles Barkley, who, as in the video above said he “might have to beat [Cousins’] ass.”
Mention that Barkley doesn’t believe the cold shoulder is merited, and Cousins responds as if Barkley is standing directly in front of him:
“I have no respect for you and I never will. We have nothing to talk about. So, yes, every time we see each other, there will never be words.”
Now his blanket distrust of the media has developed a few holes. He still looks wary anytime a group of reporters approaches his locker, and some questions still inspire one of the better eye rolls the league has ever seen. But he’s allowing a growing number of people to see just how personable and thoughtful he can be.
[DeMarcus’ mother] Monique Cousins believes he will one day allow Barkley to do the same. As hard as that may be for DeMarcus to imagine.
Asked about that possibility, DeMarcus responded via text: “She sometimes knows me better than I know myself. As of right now, I have no respect for him and don’t really care to forgive him, so I don’t have the answer to that.”
As seen in the video above, Cousins can be very confrontational and opinionated, which is not all that different from Barkley’s reputation. The difference is that Cousins has gotten into physical altercations, though that hasn’t happened in some time. The irony of it all is that they are almost like the younger and older versions of a single person, something that Monique Cousins has pointed out as well. “Both have strong personalities and they both are not afraid to say what they think,” she said.