The Sacramento Bee, according to executive editor Joyce Terhaar, has grown tired of Kings center Demarcus Cousins trying to intimidate media members, including Bee employees. In response, the paper assembled a video reel of Cousins getting angry with the press.
The disharmony apparently goes back way further, but Cousins was particularly mad at Bee columnist Andy Furillo for mentioning his younger brother and NBA D-Leaguer, Jaleel Cousins, in a recent post about the siblings and Kings teammate Matt Barnes making poor choices at late-night clubs. Noticing the reporter in the Kings locker room, Cousins walked over to Furillo and—towering over him like most NBA players do with reporters, or anyone else—he got in Furillo's face, pointed a finger and sternly lectured him about keeping his family out of print.
"We're going to have some real fucking issues. Don't EVER mention my brother again. You don't KNOW my fucking brother," Cousins said, emphasizing his anger by gesturing with his head in the direction of Furillo's face.
Two others, including a member of the team's media relations, physically got between Cousins and Furillo, and Cousins turned back toward his locker, adding:
"Fucking coward. You say whatever you want to say about me, but don't ever mention my motherfucking family."
Another scene in the Bee movie included Cousins in 2015 calling Furillo a "fucking clown" after Furillo interrupted him during a media session at his locker. The Bee added two more scenes of Cousins protesting a reporter from Cowbell Kingdom this season. The reporter in question, Leo Beas, wrote about that here.
These are the kinds of incidents that happen sometimes in pro sports locker rooms and, as Deadspin points out, it's often not until after the player has left the team that the dirty laundry is aired. In this case, it comes off as the paper saying it's responding to Cousins's abusive behavior, but it has the feel of the Bee trying to influence the Kings into trading him. Cousins has had trouble staying on the team's good side, being disciplined periodically since he arrived in 2010, and the Kings have a 10-17 record this season.
Sports franchises can contribute to the quality of life in a city. The tribal identity – sometimes lifelong – attached to teams fosters civic pride and community fun.
It doesn't take much to ruin that. A losing team is one thing. A franchise player who regularly bullies the journalists covering him is another. And management that enables such behavior is not fitting of an operation working to be at the center of entertainment in this city.
"You see?" the Bee is saying. "We can't deal with this bully either."
It seems like many in Sacramento would like to move on from Cousins, but it's odd to see a newspaper saying it's because of how the player affects their work. It's one thing for a columnist to say a team should trade a player because the team would be better off. It's another for the top person at a news organization to do it because the media coverage would improve. That's not really the media's job.