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Cousins receives racist messages

Hey, Mississippi State fans? Not cool, guys. Not cool at all.

See, somehow Kentucky forward DeMarcus Cousins' phone number leaked to a whole mess of Bulldogs fans, whose team plays UK tonight in Starkville. Naturally, those Bulldogs fans did the right thing -- they wiped the number from the Internet and actively discouraged their fellow fans from harassing a 19-year-old who just happens to be their athletic rival. Ha, just kidding. They called and texted Cousins in droves, leaving plenty of racist and anti-gay slurs on his voicemail in the process.

Cousins is not known for having the coolest head -- he's been involved in several, um, on-court disagreements with players and referees in his short Kentucky career, the latest of which came in Saturday's win over Tennessee. It would be easy to predict Cousins handling this situation poorly. (Come to think of it, it would be tough for any of us to handle hundreds of people calling you horrible names on your cell phone. I would not react well.) But Cousins' reaction has been quite the opposite. He's answering the phone and having conversations with these whack jobs (including one that called while Cousins was in the middle of an interview). He's laughing it off to reporters. Above all, he doesn't seem to take the nonsense personally:

"It started right after the [the game Saturday night]... and I got called the N-word, some Bs," Cousins said. [...] "I'm going to change it after the game, I want to see what they have to say," Cousins said to laughter from reporters. Asked what his reaction was to the phone calls, Cousins said, "It kind of made me mad in the beginning, but now I'm answering the phone having conversations with them."

Kudos to Cousins for handling the situation well, because I wouldn't, and I don't know too many people who would. For someone who has been (rightfully) criticized for his lack of maturity during his freshman year, the big man is showing he has the quality in spades. And he can appreciate a good prank call? Somewhere, Moe Syzslak is wondering where DeMarcus finds the serenity.