Mayo complained that Cousins hit him below the belt at some point during the game, and Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle had some words for the young center as well, barking at Cousins during a timeout.
The Dallas Morning News reports that it was a “back-hand, closed-fist punch to Mayo’s groin” late in the second quarter when the two were jostling for position. Both players were given a technical for the altercation.
Mayo, who finished with 19 points, did not hold anything back when asked about the incident after the game.
“Man, that guy has mental issues,” Mayo said. “He’s a talented player. He has an opportunity to be the face of the organization, but I don’t think he wants it.”
“I told him, ‘Man, play basketball,’ ” he continued. “ ’You’ve got a chance to be a good player, but when you do stuff like that, you’re like a garbage player. It’s not a sign of being great.’”
Cousins apparently did not take that in stride, as ESPN reports that he responded to Mayo with several expletives. He maintained that ”it wasn’t intentional, but there was a lot of trash talk.”
Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee believes that Cousins will be fined and, given his track record, possibly suspended. He was suspended two games earlier in the season for confronting Spurs’ broadcaster Sean Elliot after Elliot criticized Cousins on the air.