After 29 games into the season, the Houston Rockets decided to release DeMarcus Cousins on Tuesday morning. Although Cousins’ play on the court was marred with ups-and-downs, he had emerged as one of the veteran leaders on the team, most notably during the James Harden melodrama, as he made sure to explain how Harden’s antics were unfair to the rest of the team.
Following the news of Cousins’ release, Sirius XM’s Tim Legler offered his assessment of what went wrong with Boogie in Houston on No Look Pass, and well, let’s just say he didn’t hold back. At all.
“He’s a shell of what he used to be. He really isn’t effective anymore. And defensively, he was never a great defender.
He could at least be physical. But in terms of the way the game is played now, with the importance of bigs being able to defend a little bit and help you out on the perimeter, he is stationary.
His feet are in cement. He can’t move. When they played Philly the other night, it was literally embarrassing what a mismatch Joel Embiid was for DeMarcus Cousins to try and guard Joel Embiid.
He can’t even bang with a big post player, who you might need him to bang with, and he certainly can’t guard pick-and-roll. And he’s not a guy anymore who you can throw the ball into and be like okay he’s going to get a quality shot down there or get fouled.
He’s just not the same player. And then there’s the other component, which is just his demeanor and personality and everything else.
So if he’s not being a highly productive player in 15-18 minutes, if he’s not going to get you quality production every night, where you’ve gotta accept some of these other things, then I would say no.”
NBA analyst destroys DeMarcus Cousins after news of release from Houston Rockets
Legler certainly didn’t hold any punches, and many Rockets fans have the same sentiment, especially following the news that Cousins wasn’t happy being in a reserve role (although he’s been a starter ever since Christian Wood went down). It’s also worth noting why exactly the Rockets found themselves in a position in which they had to release Cousins.
Once Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the team was planning on parting ways with Cousins, it essentially killed any possibility of a trade, because any interested team knew they could just wait for Cousins to be released, especially with his market being limited.
Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas tried to put the toothpaste back in the tube, so to speak, as he downplayed the Cousins speculation, chalking it up to just “rumors” in his first media availability session after the news leaked. But by then it was too late.
Cousins figures to join either the Brooklyn Nets or the Los Angeles Lakers, with the latter likely being in the driver’s seat, as he previously played there and the Lakers were known to have been interested in Cousins when the news first surfaced that he would potentially be on the move.
The Rockets turned to Justin Patton with Cousins out against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, and Patton played well in his first game in Houston, nabbing 4 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 21 minutes of action. With Cousins’ release, Patton will get significantly more playing time in the coming weeks, and Cousins will be able to join a contender.
Wherever Cousins lands, it’s safe to say that Legler won’t approve of the move.