DeMarcus Cousins knows all too well that fans can cross the line.
In the wake of a Utah Jazz fan harassing Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook earlier this month, the Warriors center said an incident in his current home came to mind.
Back in 2017, Cousins was a star for the Kings and was fined $25,000 for flipping off Warriors fans and yelling "F--- Golden State" after a Sacramento win at Golden 1 Center.
Cousins told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes that the traveling fans pushed him to a breaking point.
“It’s crazy. I remember the whole incident with the whole ‘F--- Golden State’ thing,” Cousins said. “I remember specifically those fans talking crazy to me the entire game, and then I come out the game and it’s those same exact fans. And I knew they were Golden State fans, so I said what I said.
"I talked to the league. I’m like, ‘Such and such and such was said. I was getting called [a] b---- and all this other stuff, punk boys, whatever.’ But they was like, ‘All right, but you flipped them off.’ I’m pretty sure them dudes are still enjoying games [today]. So it’s like I’m the bad guy because I react?”
In the same interview, Cousins said fans have directed racial slurs towards him "on a few occasions," and the NBA had told him to ignore the fans. On March 12, the league fined Russell Westbrook $25,000 for "directing profanity and threatening language" at a Jazz fan. Westbrook said the fan's taunts were "racial," and the Jazz banned the fan from all events at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Cousins said Westbrook's experience raised awareness about interactions that he thinks are all-too-common in NBA arenas. But that doesn't mean he understands why fans end up crossing the line.
“I think it kind of went viral with the whole Russ thing,” Cousins said. “I’m sure that played a part in it. He’s had multiple instances in that same city. You even got the one clip of the guy flipping Russ off. Like, when does the game get that serious for a fan? Why are you that angry? This dude is literally out there putting a ball through a hoop. How do you get that angry?"