Cousins will serve his suspension during Sacramento's season finale, when the Kings host the Suns on Wednesday. The 2010 lottery pick is on the books for $4.9 million this season, and a one-game suspension without pay will cost him approximately $44,000.
The suspension comes one day after Cousins was whistled for a technical foul late in Sacramento's 106-103 home victory over Minnesota on Sunday. With a little over one minute remaining in the game, Cousins fell to the court while batting with Kevin Love for a loose ball in the paint. Love eventually came up with the ball and attempted a layup, drawing a foul on Travis Outlaw in the process. Both Outlaw and Cousins disputed the call, but Cousins received the technical after jumping up and down in frustration and putting his hands on his head.
By NBA rules, players are subject to a one-game suspension when they accumulate 16 technical fouls on the season. Every second technical past the 16 -- the 18th, the 20th, and so on -- incurs an additional one-game suspension.
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Although Cousins is leading the league in technical fouls for the second straight season, he hadn't been teed up since he was ejected from a Feb. 25 game against the Rockets. Sacramento had hoped that Cousins' latest technical would be rescinded, as Cousins had made a pledge to his teammates and coaches that he would play out the season without incurring the suspension-inducing technical foul. Instead, the league office decided to uphold the technical foul, ending Cousins' season early.
The Sacramento Bee reported the Kings' post-game reaction to Cousins' technical foul on Sunday.
“I’m not talking about it,” [Cousins] said.
“I feel for him,” Kings coach Michael Malone said. “He has made a concerted effort to handle his emotions and not get that last technical. Obviously, we’ll try to do whatever we can to get that rescinded, but it’s disappointing. I know it meant a lot to him. ... I just told him to keep his head up and that he should be proud of how he played (Sunday) and of the effort that he’s put into being a better citizen on the court. This is just one step, and he’s going to need to be able to handle it and recover.”
Back in February, Cousins was suspended for punching Rockets guard Patrick Beverley. In Dec. 2012, he drew a one-game suspension for a low blow to then-Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo. In Nov. 2012, Cousins was suspended for two games following a post-game argument with Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott.
Cousins, 23, averaged 22.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game in his fourth season, leading the Kings in scoring, rebounds, steals and blocks.
Sacramento holds a 28-53 record and will miss the playoffs for the eighth straight season. Video via YouTube user Antoine Pimmel