It started as two players—DeMarcus Cousins and Tim Duncan—battling it out in the trenches, but Sean Elliott, now a color commentator for the Spurs and obviously an objective analyst to the bitter end, jumped in to defend his beleaguered teammate. After scoring on Duncan twice and drawing a foul on a third posession, Cousins had the temerity to say of (not to) Duncan, "I'm going to bust his ass." It should probably have been in the past tense—"I just busted his ass"—but that's not what Elliott was mad about:
"That's why some humility is in order," Elliott said on the air. "You think you're dominating Tim Duncan, you get it stuffed right back in your face. Timmy doesn't like to talk trash. But if guys start talking mess to him, he's going to respond. All that trash talking was premature. I'm not about to let these guys off the hook. Young ballclub should learn from this. Don't start talking and flapping your gums against one of the greatest players ever. He's going to make you pay. Tell me who got the best of this exchange."
Apparently informed postgame of Elliott's remarks, Cousins appeared on the court in his uniform and confronted Elliott after he and broadcaster Bill Land completed their postgame show.
"I was wondering why Cousins was out there in his uniform waiting for them to finish his postgame show," said Bill Schoening, who does the play-by-play call on radio broadcasts of Spurs games. "Then I saw them in an animated conversation out on the court.
No one seems to have reported what was said in that animated conversation, but whatever it was, Cousins is going to pay:
DeMarcus Cousins is and always has been crazybones—when's the last time someone said they were going to bust Tim Duncan's ass? Charles Oakley?—but it's hard not to side with the big man on this one. When Sean Elliott is giving sanctimonious lectures about humility and gum-flapping on behalf of Tim Duncan, who surely doesn't need it, he deserves to get the crap scared out of him by an angry DeMarcus Cousins. And, as Tom Ziller writes, "It should be noted that Elliott (who was a fantastic player and does a lot for charity) is a total hack."
In Cousins's absence, the Kings will be without their leading scorer and rebounder for games against the Lakers and Trail Blazers.