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Stephen A. Smith: Why Howard, Cousins Wouldn't Work In Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- The rumors around the NBA are just going to increase over the next two weeks as the February 18 trade deadline approaches, and the Celtics will likely be in the middle of a lot of them.

On Wednesday, the big rumor was the Celtics and Houston Rockets talking about a deal for Dwight Howard. It has since been extinguished a bit by Chris Mannix, but that doesn't mean the talks won't continue as the deadline draws closer.

Stephen A. Smith joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's Felger & Massarotti on Radio Row in San Francisco on Thursday, and though Howard is a shell of his former self, said he would still give Boston something they need.

"Howard hasn't been himself, but if you're the Celtics you need a [defensive] presence and a name, because they have everything else," he said.

Stephen A. says Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, while he fits the profile on the court, wouldn't work in Boston because of his attitude off of it.

"You don't take 'Boogie' Cousins, because I don't know if he fits in Boston. I can't emphasize this enough, you have to take into account locale, environment and how receptive you are to that," he said. "When you're in Boston you have to be a fabric of that community and culture. It's a great sports town with Celtics lore and you have to have someone who is receptive to that. You can't be about doing your own thing or come off as rebellious and unappreciative of the tradition. You have to buy all in and it can't just be about you.

"Off the court, [Cousins] is his own man and does things his own way," he said. "That doesn't work in Boston."

Stephen A. also cautions that Howard's lackadaisical approach may not fly in Boston either.

"Dwight Howard is one of those guys whose biggest impediment is, 'The sun is going to shine tomorrow and life is good.' It's, 'So what we lost, I don't like it but it's OK.' You don't get 17 championships that way. You got 17 championships because you're in a city that says, 'Wait a damn minute, we're trying to win.' It's a priority and when you don't, it hurts. That is Boston and you've got to buy in in that regard.

"You have two guys on extreme sides of the spectrum, but neither are necessarily a fit. But Dwight is a better fit than DeMarcus," he said.

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