After Shaquille O’Neal criticized DeMarcus Cousins on Thursday night, Cousins’ former Golden State Warriors teammate Draymond Green accused O’Neal of perpetuating a double standard when it comes to directing blame at a losing franchise.
In his role as an NBA analyst for TNT, O’Neal engaged in a spirited discussion with fellow analysts Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith after the Kings lost to the Miami Heat on Thursday night. The trio and host Ernie Johnson explored the Kings’ continued futility that’s spanned more than a decade
O’Neal, who owns a small ownership stake in the Kings, offered reasons for the continued stumbles, which included citing what he perceived as Cousins’ inability to get the team to the postseason
“DeMarcus Cousins was there and we never made the playoffs, so like you said Kenny, I kind of agree with you, we need some young talent and some older talent that mess together,” O’Neal said.
O’Neal’s comment struck a nerve with Green, who was briefly a teammate of Cousins during the 2018-19 season.
Demarcus cousins produced in SAC big fella @SHAQ … once again they never want to blame the organization.
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) February 19, 2021
During Cousins’ time with the Kings, he averaged 21.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. While Cousins was productive on the court, he also had issues when it came to anger management and dealing with coaches.
Even before Cousins arrived with the Kings, the franchise floundered and has continued to do so since he left.
The Kings last made the playoffs during the 2005-06 season and haven’t gotten past the first round of the postseason since the 2003-04 campaign.
Cousins was only a part of those continued struggles, which is why Green’s anger came so quickly after the statement by O’Neal was made.
At 12-16 this season, the Kings are currently tied with the Pelicans for the 11th-best record in the NBA’s Western Conference, three games behind the Denver Nuggets for the final playoff spot. The Kings still have plenty of time to make a bid for the playoffs, but if they don’t, no one will be able to blame Cousins.