DeMarcus Cousins has his anger issues, but apparently, so does his coach. After Wednesday's practice - which I missed while monitoring a live chat for the Bee - Paul Westphal announced that his rookie center had been fined and removed from the starting lineup for making a right-handed choke sign during Wednesday's loss to Golden State. At the time, the Kings led 98-93, were 19.3 from a victory, with Warriors swingman Reggie Williams at the free throw line. Cousins, who was fined Nov. 12 after clashing with an assistant and team trainer, flashed a grin and placed his right hand around his throat. Williams missed two of his three attempts.
The punishment is reminiscent of Westphal's benching last year of Spencer Hawes. The former Kings center had publicly complained about the player rotations, and when he arrived for the next game, discovered he had been de-activated and his uniform removed from the locker room.
Westphal's latest disciplinary move seems even more extreme. It would have been different if Cousins had flipped somebody off or engaged in similarly offensive behavior. But this was nothing more than a silly, boyish display. A scolding would have sufficed. And in the scheme of issues ailing the Kings, this is a major overreaction.