In the NBA today, there are many players that keep bouncing around from team to team looking for a place to call home, but not having any luck doing so. This is not due to their lack of talent on the court, but rather their attitude and work ethic on and off the court. Some of the NBA’s best athletes have been passed along from one organization to another, either because of their lack of team chemistry or poor relations with the coaching staff.
Demarcus Cousins was drafted fifth overall in the 2010 NBA draft. The Sacramento Kings knew what they were going to have to deal with taking him on board, but they believed that their coaching staff could make it work. They battled Cousins’s attitude on and off the court for years, but they never seemed to make it work.
After years of butting heads with coach Paul Westphal, Cousins was finally traded to the New Orleans Pelicans just last month. We will see if New Orleans is a better fit for him and the team as a whole.
Demarcus Cousins believes that this change with ultimately benefit him and his career as a whole. In an interview with a reporter for the bleacher report after his trade being passed, Cousins talks about how, “I don’t regret anything. Everything I’ve been through has helped me grow as a person, so I’m good.”
Jimmy Butler is another NBA superstar who just could not figure it out off the court. Last year the Bulls were projected to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, but finished in ninth place, just out of playoff contention.
In an article written by Fox Sports, it talks about how Butler tried taking on a leadership position on the team without being asked to do so. This angered his teammate Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, who were previously seen as the leaders of the team. This lack of team chemistry amongst the star players of this Bulls team has been reflected in their record overall.
Rose and Noah ended up being traded in the offseason the the New York Knicks, handing over the team to Jimmy Butler and incoming Dwayne Wade. Butler continues to have problems with his team, which stands eighth overall in the Eastern conference, on the brink of making the playoffs.
Attitude and work ethic are just as important to a team’s success as talent itself. Division one small forward, Joey Wagner, of Southern Methodist University, told me that some of the best players on his team do not listen to the coaches at all.
“Many players on my team are worthy of the NBA, and they know it,” Wagner said. “They carry this conceded mindset into their careers after college, and it makes them harder to coach.”