Sacramento Kings’ center DeMarcus Cousins and former NBA star, current analyst Charles Barkley are anything but friends. They simply don’t like each other.
Cousins, a talented, yet highly tempered young star, said he has no respect for Barkley, and never will. He also said the two have nothing to talk about, and every time they see each other they never talk.
Barkley wishes he understood why Cousins holds such a grudge against him. He acknowledges that when Cousins was in high school, he went down to see him in a state playoff game.
As Barkley remembers it, Cousins complained to referees incessantly, fouled out and picked up a couple of technical fouls in the process, according to Bleacher Report.
“I made a very conscious effort not to be too hard on him,” Barkley said. “I said he had a chance to be really good; I just told the reporters afterward that I was a little disappointed. Since then, I’ve also said he could be the best big man in the game if he’d just grow up.”
Like Barkley, Cousins is from Alabama, and he was upset about Barkley’s comments.
“Coming up as a kid and hearing that from one of the best players ever to come out of Alabama,” Cousins said, “a guy people grow up looking up to, to hear him say, ‘Well, he’s not that good…’ I remember it like it was yesterday. Then, coming into my rookie season, you take up for your ex-coach and say I’m the worst thing that ever happened to Sacramento on national TV. Yeah, I’m going to remember.”
Barkley, of course, made his NBA debut with a team full of veterans in Philadelphia and fully acknowledges those mentors were crucial to his career.
“Moses Malone kicked my ass,” he said. “He made me lose 30 pounds. It’s hard to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m fat.’ Doctor J made me wear a suit. He said, ‘Young fella, you can’t walk around in a sweat suit.’ They kept my feet to the fire.”
Speaking on “Inside the NBA”, Barkley spoke openly on the issue with him and Cousins.
“He has to control his emotions, and he can’t get thrown out of a bunch of games and receive technicals,” Barkley said.
“He’s a young kid, so I gave him a pass, and at some point you have to grow up, and he is growing up. So, I give him credit. But I never bring up a personal opinion on a kid or any person,” Barkley said.
He also added that he wasn’t offended by what Cousins said, because it’s his job.
“He shouldn’t have done what he did,” Barkley said. “I never take it personally. I know he doesn’t like me.”
“I don’t know the kid at all,” Barkley said. “I know one thing – he can’t whoop my ass. There would be some furniture moving if he ever put his hands on me.”
Barkley said Cousins is an “interesting kid”, and expressed hope that he grows up to become a perennial All-Star, and move on to greater things.Follow @exnbadotcom
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