DeMarcus Cousins fined $25K for throwing mouthpiece, walking into stands

DeMarcus Cousins makes his way back down from the not-at-all-cheap seats. (AP)
DeMarcus Cousins makes his way back down from the not-at-all-cheap seats. (AP)

It’s like my grandmother always used to say: “It’s not a party until something gets broken, and it’s not an NBA season until DeMarcus Cousins has run afoul of league-office law.” Good news, everybody: it’s officially an NBA season!

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The Sacramento Kings’ All-Star center, who last season tied a career-high with 17 technical fouls, has been dinged for the first time in the 2016-17 NBA campaign, and it took just three games. The NBA on Monday slapped Cousins with a $25,000 fine for “throwing his mouthpiece and entering the spectator stands,” which Boogie did late in the fourth quarter of Sacramento’s Saturday night meeting with the Minnesota Timberwolves at Golden 1 Center:

With just under 40 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of a nip-and-tuck battle between the Kings and Wolves, Minnesota rookie guard Kris Dunn scooped up a loose ball and knifed into the lane, hoping to cut Sacramento’s four-point lead to a one-basket advantage. Cousins, perennially among the league leaders in charges taken, slid in front to try to draw an offensive foul that would give the Kings back to the ball and help close the door on a home win.

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After the two collided, though, referee Tony Brothers called the play a blocking foul on Cousins rather than a charge against Dunn. Not only would that send the rookie to the line for a pair of free throws that could get the Wolves within two points, but it was also Cousins’ sixth foul, eliminating him from the game with less than one minute remaining in a close contest. That, combined with the fact that Cousins had picked up his fifth on an offensive foul call against him just 13 seconds earlier, riled the famously volatile big man up to the point that he decided to tear out his mouthpiece and chuck it before stomping into the stands.

Boogie eventually stomped back onto the court and to the sideline, where he saw Dunn miss both of his free throws. (We assume he was invoking the name of our site as he watched.) From there, Cousins watched his teammates survive multiple Wolves attempts to knot things up in the final 20 seconds, allowing Sacramento to come away with a 106-103 victory that gave the Kings their first win in their brand new gym.

Before his walkabout in the bleachers, Cousins had been his dominant self, scoring a team-high 29 points on 9-for-16 shooting with seven rebounds, four assists and a steal in 32 1/2 minutes of work. Earlier in the evening, though, he received his first technical foul of the year after pleading his case on a foul against rising Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns. To his credit, he responded to that whistle with a bit less bluster and bombast than you might’ve expected, smiling at referee Lauren Holtkamp and offering a quick shoutout to Larry Sanders:

… but, with the game in the balance and his evening reaching an abrupt end, Boogie wasn’t quite so smiley and retiring. Hence the outburst; hence the fine. Cousins was also retroactively assessed another technical foul on the play. (What’s one more for the career total, anyway?)

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Cousins is just the latest in a long line of NBA players to receive a $25,000 fine for whipping their mouthguards in frustration. Kirk Hinrich, then of the Chicago Bulls, wrote his check in April 2007. Aaron Brooks, then of the Kings, got his in November 2012. Enes Kanter, then of the Utah Jazz, received the same penalty for the same offense in December 2014. Most famously, Stephen Curry received the same fine for throwing his mouthpiece and hitting a fan after picking up a disqualifying sixth foul in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

The good news, I suppose: Boogie finds himself in pretty decent company on this list. The bad news: he’s still out $25,000. The lesson: no matter how frustrated you are, just keep your mouthpiece in your mouth, guys. It can be costly, and besides that, nobody wants to have your spit whipping around, anyway.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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