Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has been suspended for one game for striking Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo in the groin area Monday night, NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson announced.
Cousins will serve his suspension Wednesday, when the Kings visit the Milwaukee Bucks. Cousins served a two-game suspension earlier this season for confronting San Antonio Spurs color commentator Sean Elliott after the game.
The incident with Mayo occurred with 3:35 remaining in the second quarter of the Kings' 119-96 loss Monday night in Dallas. After fighting for position with Mayo, Cousins balled up his fist and punched behind him, hitting Mayo below the belt. Double technical fouls were called after Mayo angrily confronted Cousins.
Cousins claimed the shot was unintentional, but an irate Mayo didn't believe him.
"That guy has some mental issues, man," Mayo said Monday night. "He's a talented player. He has an opportunity to be the face of that organization, but I don't think he wants it. ...
"He's immature, man. Big maturity problem. Hopefully, he'll grow up out of it and become great. He definitely has the talent to."
Cousins responded Tuesday by telling Sacramento reporters that Mayo didn't have a "great image" and implying that Mayo's criticism was meaningless.
"Is he a franchise player?" Cousins said. "So how is he going to tell me what I am?"
After being told of Cousins' comments, Mayo said he has no intention of continuing to "lip box" with the Kings center.