A brief history of the growing feud between DeMarcus Cousins and Meyers Leonard
Beef highlighted by allegations of dirty play from both sides
Cousins scored 55 points against the Portland Trail Blazers, was ejected for taunting and apparently spitting his mouthguard in the direction of Blazers forward Meyers Leonard, stormed to the locker room, re-entered the game when the officials determined the mouthguard simply fell out of his mouth, went on a tirade against Leonard in his postgame television interview and then told reporters that he didn't know who Leonard was.
It was extremely strange. It wasn't, however, completely out of nowhere. Cousins and Leonard have had a beef since the 2015-16 preseason. Here's a rundown of everything that has happened between the two of them:
Oct. 5, 2015: In the third quarter of a meaningless exhibition game, Leonard goes up for a jumper and turns his ankle badly on Cousins' foot. Leonard goes to the locker room, but is cleared to return. When he checks back in, he takes another jumper over Cousins and lands on his foot again, then yells to a referee that it's the second time Cousins has undercut him.
Jan 27, 2016: Leonard gets the best of Cousins, who takes his first public shot at him. Obviously frustrated after scoring 17 points on 4-for-21 shooting and going 9 for 17 from the line in a 112-97 loss to the Blazers, Cousins insinuates that Leonard was playing dirty, via the Oregonian:
"I could tell what their scheme was: to try to frustrate me," Cousins said. "Meyers whatever you say it -- yeah, Leonard -- took advantage of the situation a little bit more. If you want to credit them, go ahead. A lot of shots didn't fall."
"He was very good on Cousins," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said of Leonard's defensive effort. "He banged with him, he took the challenge."
However, Cousins wasn't quick to congratulate Leonard on his defensive game.
"I'm not giving him that much credit," Cousins said. "He's not even a defender."
Nov. 11, 2016: In the first quarter of Portland's 122-120 overtime win against Sacramento, Cousins and Leonard got into a shoving match and receive double technical fouls.
Cousins scored 33 points and grabbed nine rebounds but Leonard comes away with the best highlight -- a massive, one-handed dunk -- and the victory. After the game, the Blazers big man said there's no one he prefers guarding more than Cousins.
"He's the matchup I look forward to more than any in the league," Leonard said, via the Oregonian. "I mean, DeMarcus Cousins is the most skilled big in the NBA. Period. Not even close. He can handle the ball, he can shoot the three, face up, get to the basket. He's extremely skilled. I've studied him a lot. It's a fun matchup."
Dec. 20, 2016: Cousins dominated everybody Portland threw at him, including Leonard, who played only 19 minutes and finished scoreless. You already know what happened, but here's Cousins praising Mason Plumlee and taking a shot at Leonard in the locker room:
Cousins gives the media a 👍🏾 and doesn't acknowledge knowing who Meyers Leonard is ... pic.twitter.com/aofVPbZsX9— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) December 21, 2016
And here's Leonard saying that Cousins deserved to be ejected, saying that his "antics" were over the top, out of line, vulgar and disrespectful.
The Kings and Blazers meet again Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Moda Center.
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