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DeMarcus Cousins ejected after flagrant foul on LeBron James, dustup with Markieff Morris

January 11th, 2021

Six games into his NBA return, DeMarcus Cousins picked up his second ejection.

DeMarcus Cousins’ return to the NBA from an ACL tear hasn’t exactly gone as planned.

The four-time All-Star has struggled to get his game going while averaging 5.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in limited minutes off the Houston Rockets bench. Meanwhile his ongoing beef with NBA officials carries on.

Cousins got ejected from Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the second time he’s been tossed in six games this season.

Sunday’s ejection arrived courtesy of one of the NBA’s greatest transgressions — a hard foul on LeBron James.

The incident occurred early in the second quarter when James was driving to the basket. Cousins challenged James at the top of the key and swiped down hard at the ball. Instead he got James’ face with his elbow, sending the Lakers star to the floor.

That was that for Boogie. Officials took a second look on replay and decided Cousins had to go, ruling the infraction a flagrant 2 foul. The designation comes with an automatic ejection.

Cousins clearly didn’t intend malice with his swipe. Was his ejection fair, or should officials have ruled the foul a flagrant 1 and let him keep playing? It’s not hard to conclude that the combination of Cousins’ reputation and James’ status as the face of the league played a role in Cousins’ ouster.

That it was Cousins’ second incident of the night certainly didn’t help his cause.

Cousins got into it in the first quarter with another player renowned for his temper, Markieff Morris.

Cousins shoved Morris to the floor in what looked like a direct response to Morris pushing Rockets guard Jae’Sean Tate a moment earlier. Morris got up and appeared ready to have more than words with Cousins.

Cousins walked away while coaches, players and officials restrained Morris from engaging further with the Houston center. Both players picked up technical fouls for the incident. Morris also picked up a flagrant 1 for shoving Tate. The foul tally earned Morris his own ejection.

Minutes later, Cousins was tossed for the second time in six games.

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