Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins is being investigated by the NBA and police after the mother of his child alleged that he threatened to shoot her in the head last week.
Cristy West told police in Mobile, Ala., on Friday that Cousins made the threat during a phone conversation, and she provided a recording of the call. TMZ posted a copy of the recording online, and police spokeswoman Charlette Solis confirmed it was the same recording the woman gave investigators.
In it, a man the woman identified as Cousins asks if he can have his son “here.” When the woman says no, the man tells the woman he would “make sure” to “put a bullet” in her head. Cousins married longtime girlfriend Morgan Lang in Atlanta the day after the recording was said to have been made.
A police report provided to The Times lists the alleged offense as a domestic violence misdemeanor for harassing communications. West would have to sign a warrant for police to proceed with charges, Solis said.
Representatives from Cousins’ agency, Excel Sports Management, did not respond to requests for comment.
“We are aware of the allegation involving DeMarcus Cousins and, of course, take this claim seriously,” the Lakers said in a statement. “We are in the process of gathering information and will reserve further comment at this time.”
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the NBA is also investigating the allegation.
According to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the league may fine, suspend, or dismiss and ban players who violate the league’s domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policies. The harshest punishments are reserved for repeat offenders. Cousins has had no such violations.
The Lakers signed Cousins to a one-year deal worth $3 million in July, following his one season with the Golden State Warriors. Once one of the league’s top centers, Cousins has suffered two major injuries in the past 20 months. The first, a torn Achilles tendon in January of 2018, caused him to miss an entire year. Two weeks ago, Cousins suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament while playing an organized pickup game in Las Vegas as part of his offseason training. Due to that injury, Cousins isn’t likely to play this season.
The Lakers open training camp with media day on Sept. 27.