A physically dominant offensive player, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is a tough cover for just about anyone. NBA teams routinely bend their game plans around containing Cousins. For the Portland Trail Blazers, that means putting their biggest big body on him from time to time, and their biggest body is Meyers Leonard.
In spite of the defensive criticism Leonard endured early in his career, he relishes the opportunity to match up with big, back-to-the-basket bruisers; especially Cousins, so it was no surprise that he once again started in place of injured power forward Al-Farouq Aminu to take on Cousins Tuesday night.
Cousins, of course, dropped 55 points on the Trail Blazers, en route to a Kings victory, so we’ll deem that a holistically unsuccessful containment effort by Portland.
Cousins would use his post-game interview as a platform to bash Leonard before doing so again in the Kings locker room. Leonard had words for his opponent as well in his own locker room conversation.
Meyers Leonard: Cousins deserved to be out of the game; "His antics are over the top." pic.twitter.com/4qEJQZPuJO— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) December 21, 2016
The two of them are not friends and this tiff is not new.
The little feud has been bubbling under the surface for a while now, and it could come to a head when the Trail Blazers get a shot at redemption on December 28. It seems the two of them find a way to get on each other’s nerves each time they face off.
In the meantime, James Herbert of CBS Sports has chronicled the growing dislike between Cousins and Leonard, starting all the way back in October of 2015, so check out that article, here.
Perhaps the most memorable on-court incident in this ongoing saga occurred just last month, when Leonard got fed up with being pushed in the back and decided to return the favor front-wise.
It is difficult to tell how, if, and when this beef will die out, but despite an increasing number of Blazers fans that would like to see Leonard smack Cousins in the back of the head, a peaceful resolution would be most adult. Or better yet, a continued, aggressive rivalry that does not extend to the media microphones.