The Sacramento Kings have reinstated troubled center DeMarcus Cousins after he was suspended indefinitely "for unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team" (h/t Sam Amick of USA Today) on Saturday.
Kings announce DeMarcus Cousins has been reinstated effective immediately from his indefinite suspension. He missed a practice and a game— JasonJones (@mr_jasonjones) December 24, 2012
UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 3:30 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos
DeMarcus Cousins has been reinstated, but he will miss at least one game before he is back with the team.
The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones reported the following via Twitter:
DeMarcus Cousins is not with the Kings in Portland (Coach's decision).— JasonJones (@mr_jasonjones) December 26, 2012
Keith Smart is taking a hard line with Cousins, and only time will tell if his decisions will have a positive impact on the center's erratic behavior.
---End of Update---
UPDATE: Monday, Dec. 24 at 3:59 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway
While Cousins may be reinstated, that doesn't mean he'll be back on the court instantly. According to the Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones, Kings coach Keith Smart said Monday that Cousins would not necessarily play right away:
He's been reinstated, yes. That doesn't mean he's playing right away. Obviously he's going to come back to the team at some point so you've got to get his mind moving in that direction and get everybody else to understand he's going to come back.
---End of Update---
After being suspended, rumors of a possible trade were running rampant, but both Cousins and the team remained adamant that the young star would not be moved and that all issues could be resolved.
Just two days later, the young center is already back with his teammates on the road back to redemption with management.
With a history of incidents with the coaching staff in Sacramento, though, it will be wise to keep an eye on Cousins and his play with the Kings going forward.
What It Means
The Kings are a better team with Cousins in the lineup, but the main goal must be to keep the young team playing as hard on the defensive end as it does at the offensive end of the court.
Led by his changed attitude, the tough-minded center could provide the necessary spark to the rest of his teammates and return Sacramento to its winning ways.
Head coach Keith Smart must also grow in this situation and realize that Cousins needs to be handled in a different way to get the most out of the emotional forward.
While the hope of a run to the playoffs may be too far out of reach for the Kings, that doesn’t mean the team can't try and play spoiler in the Western Conference throughout the second half of the season.
Cousins has the talent to make the entire team around him better, and a newfound focus following the suspension could help the third-year starter return to the elite level he has shown in glimpses.
There is no doubt Cousins has the talent to be a star in the NBA, but whether or not he can keep his cool and focus his emotions will determine how great he becomes.
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