On Thursday night's "Inside the NBA," NBA Hall of Famer and Kings minority owner Shaquille O'Neal described Kings center DeMarcus Cousins as a "hot head" and said he lacked leadership.
"In the previous years, he's been hot-headed, he hasn't shown great leadership qualities," O'Neal said. Furthermore, O'Neal said that the team may actually look to trade Cousins if the situation doesn't improve.
"I'm hearing talk that if things don't start to become correct, then they may be looking in another direction."
Now, coming from O'Neal under any circumstances, that's an eyebrow-raising notion. He's a connected, well-respected former player. But given his relationship with the Kings, it makes it even more interesting. However, there's no way to know whether Shaq has direct knowledge of the situation and whether that's really what's going on.
Also, it should be noted that the Kings' minority ownership group has always been a leaky bunch; that's fairly well known in NBA circles.
It makes sense, though. The problems with Cousins have been going on for years. The team is bad so Cousins gets frustrated, plays like a hot-headed lunatic who lazes on defense, the team suffers, which frustrates him, and the cycle repeats.
The Kings had some fight the first two weeks of the season, but then lost back to back to the Lakers and Blazers in disappointing fashion. They just can't seem to get the team turned around. The best way to do so might be to make a trade and start fresh.
Cousins' attitude likely improves elsewhere, and that would infuriate Kings fans as he shows maturity with a winning team the way they wished he had in Sacramento. But sometimes a guys just has to change scenery before his career can start that next phase.