Superstar players are hard to come across in sports, especially in the NBA. The Sacramento Kings thought they found one in 2010. Unfortunately, year after year in the lottery and seasons that has left the Sac-Town faithful with nothing but broken hearts, the Kings need to realize DeMarcus Cousins is not a franchise player. He's a very good player and one of the best big men in the league, but after six years in the league, Cousins has yet to lead the Kings to a season with more than 30 wins. I understand that Sacramento is extremely dysfunctional. . . everyone knows that -- but Kevin Love won more in Minnesota. He doesn't look great now in Cleveland with the Cavaliers, but Love was a star with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Like Cousins, he wasn't a great defender, but he knew how to get others involved. Cousins' is a good passer for a big, but he averages 3.3 assists per game compared to 3.9 turnovers.
While Love and the Timberwolves didn't get along much near the end of his tenure in Minnesota, Cousins hasn't exactly been the poster boy of great leaders. He's had issues with coaches and management, he's always been one of the league leaders in technical fouls and ejections, and his body language on the court isn't that of a winner. Most of the time, Cousins doesn't run back on defense when a call isn't in his favor. If the best player on your team won't run back and play on the other side of the ball, what will the other players do? How does that image look for the rookies?
Rajon Rondo is an above-average point guard and Rudy Gay is one of the better scorers in the league. Darren Collison could be a starter on many teams and Willie Cauley-Stein is a stud. However, the team continues to struggle. The Portland Trail Blazers lost four starters in the offseason, including LaMarcus Aldridge. Damian Lillard has stepped up as the leader of the team and plays with a chip on his shoulder. Unlike Cousins though, he doesn't rack up on technical fouls or get into it with the higher ups. Lillard has been a good mentor to CJ McCollum and the other young Blazers. They were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league, but are currently slated as the 6th seed in the Western Conference. Sacramento has the potential to be there.
George Karl might not be the coach he once was. Vlade Divac might not know what he's doing. Vivek Ranadive might be one of the most interesting owners the league has ever seen before. But the Sacramento Kings SHOULD be better than this. It starts with the best player. DeMarcus Cousins is better suited to be a second or third best player on a great team. There's only a handful of players in this league that are superstars and can lead a team, he's proven that he isn't one. At just 25, it's possible that this changes. For now, Cousins remains a crownless King.