NBA Players Who Need to Stop Whining and Look in the Mirror

Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2013

NBA Players Who Need to Stop Whining and Look in the Mirror

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    The NBA's biggest whiners get coaches fired, undermine their teammates and generally do more harm than good to their organizations. Unfortunately, those side effects haven't prevented some of the league's biggest names from griping to anyone who will listen.

    Kobe Bryant whines to the media because he's trying to kick start a struggling team, while DeMarcus Cousins complains to officials because, well, he's immature.

    There's clearly a hierarchy in terms of the propriety of whining in the NBA, but one thing's going to be consistent with every one of the players we're about to call out for complaining: They would all be better served if they just took a look in the mirror instead of placing blame elsewhere.

    Just like your parents always said, nobody likes a complainer. That's why we're setting these NBA whiners straight.

Kobe Bryant

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    It seems like Kobe Bryant regales the media with a sound bite about the L.A. Lakers’ struggles on a daily basis. In his latest critique, he rehashed something he’s been whining about all year: the Lakers’ lack of youth and quickness.

    I mean, you just saw an old damn team. I don't know how else to put it. We're just slow, and they're a team that's younger with fresher legs and played with more energy. We were just stuck in the mud. And as individuals, we all have to figure out how to get ourselves ready each and every game to have a high-level game. That's a big thing when you're starting to age. It's tough, and it takes a lot of commitment.

    Sure, the Lakers are old and maybe Kobe’s got the right to lampoon his ancient teammates and demand better effort from everyone.

    But, if he’s being honest about what’s really plaguing the Lakers, he has to include himself among their biggest problems. His habit of ball-watching and repeated rotation mistakes are major reasons for the Lakers’ defensive struggles.

    It would be nice if Dwight Howard was a little quicker in his rotations, and Pau Gasol could certainly use a speed injection, but Bryant’s woeful effort as a perimeter defender puts those guys in tough positions more often than he seems to realize.

    Kobe’s scoring and offensive efficiency are great, but the offensive end isn’t what’s killing the Lakers.

    If L.A. is ever going to turn things around, Bryant needs to quit whining and figure out how to reengage the team on the defensive end.

Michael Beasley

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    Sometimes, it’s tempting to feel just a little sympathy Michael Beasley. He has basically failed at every stop in his career and can’t seem to find a way to harness his considerable talent. That discrepancy between potential and performance is always a little heartbreaking

    But then he does things like tout his own work ethic and willingness to follow orders when everyone can clearly see that his bad shot selection and lack of discipline are killing his team. That kind of delusional talk quickly removes any inclination toward sympathy.

    If he’d take a moment to really look at what his low-percentage chucking and aversion to defense were doing to the Phoenix Suns, he would  see that he (not his coach or anyone else) is the problem.

Kevin Love

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    Kevin Love might be entitled to whine about his situation with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he probably could have picked a better time to do it than this year.

    Since returning from a broken hand, Love is shooting just under 36 percent from the floor and 23 percent from beyond the arc. His free-throw percentage is at a career low and his team is hanging at the fringe of the playoff buzz in the Western Conference.

    Love is a very good player, but true franchise cornerstones look at themselves before they start complaining about their situations.

    He might have a right to be dissatisfied with his less-than-megabucks contract or the Wolves’ revolving personnel door, but he’d be better served to focus on his own performance than complaining to the media.

DeMarcus Cousins

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    By now, everybody’s familiar with the merry-go-round of suspensions DeMarcus Cousins has served this season and we’re sure that somewhere within all of his locker-room tantrums, outbursts and misbehavior, there must have been some whining.

    But that stuff happened mostly behind closed doors. In this instance, we’re digging into the Sacramento Kings’ talented big man for his on-court bellyaching.

    Watch any Kings game and you’ll notice Cousins pulling faces and whining at every turn, assuming he’s actually playing and not suspended.

    He scowls at officials when they don’t blow the whistle on his drives, frowns whenever he’s called for fouls and generally has a sour puss on for the duration of the game. All his mugging and whining has earned Cousins a reputation with officials that, in a catch-22, only makes matters worse. Because of his antics, refs never do him any favors.

    Obviously, Cousins’ poor behavior off the court and his histrionics on it are related in that they stem from his immaturity. For the sake of his short-term productivity and the viability of his career as a whole, Cousins must take a long look at himself.

    Only then can he hope to reroute a career that’s clearly headed down the wrong path.

Deron Williams

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    It’s official now: Deron Williams is a coach killer.

    After precipitating surefire Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan’s early retirement in Utah, Williams’ public lamentations resulted in a pink slip for Avery Johnson over the holiday season.

    Maybe instead of complaining about offensive sets, Williams could have turned a critical eye toward himself.

    If he’d done that, maybe he would have noticed that he’s still shooting around 40 percent from the field, 30 percent from long range and getting to the line less frequently than he has in any season since 2006-07.

    Johnson’s penchant for isolation sets and a slow pace were definitely a problem in Brooklyn, but Williams’ performance was just as big an issue.

    Apparently unfazed by his growing reputation as a whiny malcontent, Williams most recently passed the buck for his ugly numbers by complaining about fatigue.

    Enough’s enough, D-Will. Start playing better before you point the finger at everyone and everything else.