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DeMarcus Cousins: Talent counts but character is the killer

A few little things because yesterday was a dead day – no practice, flight was on time without weather issues, lobby bar flatbread and a couple of libations, end of day – and nothing really happened.

Except …

Tell me again why any team – especially the one in Toronto –should trade for DeMarcus Cousins?

Look, his talent is undeniable, he is probably the best big man in the game (I’d take a long look at Marc Gasol, mind you) and that’s an alluring proposition.

But, man, the rest of it.

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You saw the news yesterday, when he was suspended for getting his 16th technical foul – SIXTEENTH ALREADY! – and also fined $ 25,000 for an outburst in an early game.

Who knows when the next explosion is going to come and that’s one thing but for every two technical he gets the rest of the season, he gets another one game suspension and you’re foolish if you think that’s not going to happen at least a couple of times the rest of the way.

It’s a character issue with him, and I don’t care if he does good things in the community anonymously and handles himself well away from the game because character and chemistry and not letting your team down counts more to me than pure talent does.

You can’t have habitual offenders on your team without it being disruptive, you’ll have us writing and talking about and that’s disruptive, you’ll have coaches worried about what’s coming next and that’s disruptive, you’ll have referees and the league looking more closely at all the antics because that’s human nature and that’s disruptive.

At some point, it gets to be too much and if I’m an NBA general manager, I don’t even make a call because there is no suggestion whatsoever that things can change with Cousins. He’s not some kid who might eventually get it, he’s 26 years old and in his seventh season; it ain’t gonna change and it ain’t worth the trouble.

High character, to me, counts tons.

Okay, this is longer than usual but it’s still the best Super Bowl halftime I can remember and we’re in Minneapolis so …

Kinda fun story about Eugenie Bouchard and the tweeter kid and the date, right?

Bet not too many of you saw it and, like me, automatically thought:

Jim Rooker!

Remember him? Pitcher from way back in the day who became a broadcaster and who famously said one night on the air: “If they lose this game, I’ll walk home.”

Well, he was broadcasting for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the game was in Philadelphia, the Bucs did lose the game after having a 10-0 lead and, yeah, eventually walked the distance, raising more than $ 100,00 for charity in the process.

Lesson? Don’t say stupid stuff. Or be prepared to pay the consequences.

Mail? I need some mail. Got basically none yesterday – never heard from anyone I really wanted to hear from – and with the weekend coming, there’s plenty to do.

So it’s askdoug@thestar.ca like it always is and get cracking.

The Raptors?

Dead quiet after the odd Sunday-Monday back-to-back but Dwane’s gonna get just what he wants later on this week.


By my count this is the first time this season – and I’m not counting Christmas because they split up – that he’ll have three days between games.

That kind of unprecedented break will give him the chance to at least get in two pretty hard practices and given that they’ve got some work to do on getting people back into rhythm, I’m sure he’s anxious to get ‘em in the gym and get some work done.

The Thing You See On The Road, Vol. 193,725

I’m on the 24th floor the other day in Brooklyn and come out of the room Saturday late afternoon to go down and grab a coffee and standing at the bank of elevators is a groom. He’s got the tux and the boutonniere and a personal photographer doting on him and that pasty look of nerves and anticipation that I think you get.

We wait and wait and wait and the door opens and who’s there?

The bride.

She’s got the gown and the veil and her own personal photographer doting on her and that pasty look of nerves and anticipation I thing you get.

“Stop,” the groom’s photographer says. “Don’t look!         “

“Get back in,” the bride’s photographer says. “He’s right there!”

The dude turns his back to the elevator, the bride retreats to the back, the photographers chatter about who’s got to go back up and who’s got to take the elevator down.

Finally, the door closes, she goes up, we wait for another car to take us down and I’m in equal parts ticked that it’s taking so long to go grab a coffee and howling at the poor timing to kick off the marriage.