The NBA All-Star weekend probably can't come soon enough for DeMarcus Cousins as his team continue to struggle in the regular season.
The outspoken power forward was part of the Sacramento Kings lineup that endured an embarrassing blowout defeat to the Dallas Mavericks last night - losing 101-78 on their home court - and he wasn't pulling any punches when discussing the franchise's current issues.
Refusing to place the blame on former head coach Michael Malone, Cousins took aim at his teammates and the general lack of effort out there on the court from everyone involved.
"It's about having self respect, some type of pride and taking your job seriously, coming in every night ready to play regardless of the circumstances," the big man explained after last night's defeat to the Mavs.
"Just man up and play. Play hard. If we play hard and we get our brains beat in I'm fine with that.
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"To come out and just lay down like we did tonight is inexcusable." - DeMarcus Cousins on blowout loss.
The Sacramento Kings are currently languishing in third-to-last place in the Western Conference and are 1-9 over the last 10 games.
Having won only 6 of the last 24 their season is well and truly over for another year and 2010's fifth overall pick is clearly frustrated.
On his back too
Cousins may have just gained his first NBA All-Star call up but he was willing to accept some of the blame for the team's recent woes - admitting he had failed to produce as one of the team's top talents.
"The only thing I can do is lead by example, that's the only thing I can do.
"My body language has been bad as well. I need to straighten it out myself. I need to lead by example."
While Cousins has relapsed someone in recent weeks to the frustrated player we have seen often over the past four seasons, the 2014-15 campaign has been largely successful on a personal level.
The Kings big man is averaging career high numbers in points (23.7), blocks (1.6), assists (3.2) and total rebounds (12.5).
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