Kings' DeMarcus Cousins Suspended 1 Game for Striking O.J. Mayo

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2012

DeMarcus Cousins has reportedly been suspended for one game after hitting O.J. Mayo in the groin in the second quarter of Monday night's matchup between the Sacramento Kings and the Dallas Mavericks.'s Kurt Helin had the news:

The league has suspended DeMarcus Cousins one game for his elbow to the groin of O.J. Mayo. The one that made Mayo question Cousin's sanity.

— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) December 12, 2012

This is what the incident looked like:

Yeah, I wouldn't be happy, either, and Mayo made his feelings known in a report by ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon:

That guy has some mental issues, man. He's a talented player. He has an opportunity to be the face of that organization, but I don't think he wants it. He's immature, man. Big maturity problem. Hopefully, he'll grow up out of it and become great. He definitely has the talent to.

Harsh, but true in this case. Cousins has earned his reputation, constantly displaying his immaturity along with his unparalleled ability in the paint.

This isn't the first time Cousins has been suspended this season, either. He was given a two-game ban last month for confronting San Antonio Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott after Elliott made some disparaging remarks concerning Cousins' play versus Tim Duncan.

Cousins' actions Monday night were uncalled for and unacceptable. The punishment was definitely warranted, even if Cousins did claim that the action was unintentional in MacMahon's report.

Cousins is averaging 17.2 points and 9.9 rebounds for the struggling Kings. He's the best player on a mixed-up team, even if he never seems to get out of his own way.

Mayo may have been harsh in his response, but he makes a point. Cousins could be the most talented center in the league, but every incident like this makes him seem foolish in the eyes of fans, coaches and his fellow players.

When he's on the court, Cousins' versatile offensive game is a nightmare for defenders. He tends to take ill-advised shots, but that's all part of the maturation process. In terms of raw ability, you will be hard-pressed to find anyone who is more gifted at 6'11''.

He's only 22 years old, so there is time to grow up, but he better start doing it sooner rather than later.