Ric Bucher's post on LA Sports | Latest updates on Sulia
Blaming Kings coach Keith Smart for DeMarcus Cousins' issues struck me as odd and a former head coach who
has insight to the organization agreed. "Whoever is blaming Keith didn't do their homework," the former coach said. "DeMarcus couldn't have anyone better to work with him than Keith and Clifford (Ray). They put in the time." The suggestion made elsewhere is that a more accomplished coach would be more of an authority figure who would get Cousins to mature faster; it's an idea that is not only several generations outdated but has been disproved by one of the most accomplished coaches and prominent organizations in the league. First, most NBA head coaches simply have too many other responsibilities to devote a great deal of time to individual players, especially young ones; two, the coaches that are willing to devote that time are young ones like Smart who are more conscious of the fact that young players today are accustomed, from their AAU experience, of having a more direct relationship with the head coach. To put it another way: was Andrew Bynum any more mature because of Phil Jackson's presence? Did Phil make him mature faster? It certainly didn't appear that way. Questions *still* remain about Bynum's maturity. Jackson simply didn't play Bynum when he got too far out of line, and he could without it costing him games because he had other options. The willingness to do that is important, but it's hardly the only card a coach has to correctly play -- especially with players today who have not had to go through the earn-your-stripes development of 20-30 years ago. If the Kings are missing an important part of the equation in developing Cousins, it's having a veteran big or two who can show him what it takes to become an accomplished pro and pound him in practice to underscore the message. No offense to Chuck Hayes, but he's not quite at the level to do that -- and yet he might just be the closest thing Sacramento has.