DeMarcus Cousins dropped 55 points on Tuesday, but not before dropping a platter of hot beef on Meyers Leonard’s lap. In the decisive seconds of the fourth quarter, he spun his way into a pretty and-1, walked over to the Blazers bench and let some choice words and a mouthguard fall out of his mouth:
Leonard must have felt deeply owned by this series of events, which saw Boogie get his technical foul rescinded, complete his three-point play, and help the Kings hang on to win it. It’s also the latest installment in a strange, unlikely feud that’s simmered for over a year, which consists of both players accusing the other of playing dirty, Leonard making deferential comments, and Cousins refusing to accept Leonard as an actual NBA player. This time Leonard had only this to say after the game, pursing his lips and laboring over every diplomatic word:
“His antics are over the top. He’s disrespectful, out of line, I mean the list of words could go on,” says a restrained Leonard, who softens his take further by complimenting Boogie’s game. He’s just on the cusp of a nice, good beef when he hits the line, “I can’t respect someone like that,” but reins it in by the end, despite noting that whatever Boogie shouted at him was too “vulgar” to repeat.
If only he’d speak truth to Boogie. He’s playing well, but his victim complex continues to metastasize. He jabs at Leonard—“He thinks he’s a stopper, it’s not happening, I brought him back to reality”—but mostly he spends the postgame interview jawing about the injustice he faces on a nightly basis:
Note that this happened right after Cousins had his ejection overturned because the ref decided that a technical foul hinged on whether or not the mouthguard was spit out intentionally (and not whether or not you taunted the fuck out of opposing bench). It’s just awfully strange timing to level accusations of a witch hunt.
Someone needs to push back against Boogie’s talk. And it cannot be moralizing Mushnick columns or George Karl’s shitty retrospective book-chapter callouts. The teams match up again on December 28 in Portland. I need this humble Blazers reserve to come out here and reheat his beef with the most mercurial and offensively skilled big man in basketball. Meyers Leonard must never stop going in.