Draymond Green goes after Shaquille O’Neal in defense of DeMarcus Cousins

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

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.

Cousins, who now plays for the Houston Rockets, played with the Kings from 2010 until he was traded in February 2017 to the New Orleans Pelicans.

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.

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Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.