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In a troubling video posted by the Sacramento Bee, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was filmed using profanity and physical intimidating Andy Furillo, a columnist at the paper, for writing a column criticizing Cousins for getting involved in violent incidents at bars.
Cousins angrily jabbing a finger into Furillo’s face, shouting in a profane and threatening manner, because of a column The Bee published last weekend. Cousins then refused to talk to any reporters in the post-game interview while Furillo was in the room. That’s a tactic he’s employed before when he’s angry about coverage, and it is behavior aimed at controlling and censoring the media.
Furillo’s column was about an incident at the Avenue club in New York and a subsequent lawsuit that alleges teammate Matt Barnes choked a woman and Cousins “sucker punched” her boyfriend. The couple filed the civil lawsuit in federal court, but neither player has been arrested or charged. At the end of the column Furillo briefly referenced a well-publicized incident with Cousins and his younger brother in a Tampa, Fla., bar in May, which ended with his brother, Jaleel – who also is an athlete and public figure – arrested while friends hustled out Cousins.
That reference apparently set off Cousins. Yet it’s basic journalistic context, relevant and fair in any column about Cousins and bar fights. Furillo ended the column suggesting that Cousins and Barnes find “better places to hang out.”
Monday was the first time Furillo saw Cousins after the column published. The altercation started with a glare from Cousins, and quickly escalated as the player closed in on Furillo, shouting “We’re going to have some real f—ing issues. Don’t ever mention my brother again.” He continued his profane tirade, as teammate Garrett Temple got between the two and kept his arm around Cousins’ middle, and Kings spokesman Chris Clark motioned to Cousins to stop.
Furillo held his ground. That’s no small thing given Cousins’ strength and size. It likely helped that Furillo is an experienced journalist who was shot at as he covered riots in Los Angeles and threatened by family members of criminal defendants while he covered Sacramento’s Superior Court. He’s seen worse.
Not a good look for Cousins who has had a history of being a knucklehead.