DeMarcus Cousins implores Kings teammates to 'act like you care'
The Sacramento Kings lost again on Thursday -- their 10th loss in 11 games -- to a Mavericks team missing Dirk Nowitzki and Rajon Rondo. Now, DeMarcus Cousins is fed up.
Cousins vented to reporters after the game, saying this is "absolutely" the most frustrated he's been in his five-year career in Sacramento. Cousins is averaging career-high numbers -- 24 points and 12.5 rebounds -- but since the controversial firing of head coach Mike Malone on Dec. 15, the Kings have been in a free fall. The Kings were 11-13 at that point and have only won six games since then.
Even on Thursday, Cousins did his part with a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds, although he struggled with the Mavericks' relentless double teaming that forced him into six turnovers. But only one of his teammates scored double figures -- Rudy Gay had 11 on 2-11 shooting -- and the game was a blowout for most of the fourth quarter.
Cousins said this to ABC News 10:
It comes down to playing hard, man. Get some pride, just have some self respect. Act like you care. That's what it's coming down to. It's the same team; the same team that was winning [early this season], the same guys in the locker room. Ain't nothing changed. The attitudes with these guys, everyone in the room, that's the only thing that has changed."
Cousins believes the team can turn it around, saying the Kings understand buying into the frustrations is "only going to make the situation worse."
"We're the same team," he said. "We're the same team that everyone was praising early in the year. We're the same team. So yes, we can do. It's just a matter of us changing our attitudes."
As for himself, Cousins said he only sees his own play as a way to influence his teammates and recognizes he can do even better in that area, too.
"Only thing I can do is lead by example," he said. "Keep trying to lead, keep leading by example. My [body] language has been bad as well, I need to straighten it out as well."