Watch: Buddy Hield ejected for ridiculous below-the-belt punch to DeMarcus Cousins

Sacramento Kings v Detroit Pistons

The mercurial DeMarcus Cousins may not be the most popular player in the NBA (or in his own locker room, for that matter), but no one deserves to go through what he went through on Sunday night.

Just before halftime of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Sacramento Kings star was setting a screen on rookie Buddy Hield when Hield decided to take things a step too far.

While fighting his way around the screen, Hield blatantly delivers a punch to Cousins' groin area, which caused the Kings' center to double over in obvious pain.

In the video below, an angry and pained Cousins immediately calls for a technical on Hield, who was ultimately ejected from the game after a video review:

Though it was obviously not pleasant, the punch didn't seem to affect Cousins much, as he went on to score 28 points, grab 14 rebounds and dish out seven assists while leading the Kings to a 105-99 victory.

Sacramento Kings v Indiana Pacers

As for Hield, the rookie out of Oklahoma learned a valuable lesson - don't give Cousins any additional reasons to play angry. Though Hield - who had five points and two assists at the time of his ejection - wasn't around to deal with the extra-motivated Cousins, his teammates likely didn't appreciate having to attempt to clean up the rookie's mess.

The win improved the Kings to 23-32 on the season - just 1.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Pelicans, on the other hand, fell to 21-34 and are now 3.5 games behind the Nuggets.

The Kings and Pelicans play again on March 31 in New Orleans. It's safe to say Cousins now has that game circled on his calendar.

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