The short-anticipated DeMarcus Cousins era is underway in the Bay Area. Tim Roye, Bob Myers and the organization introduced the All-Star center in a press conference in Oakland Thursday morning.
Despite the Cousins addition to the Warriors being considered a rental, it doesn’t cut any of the excitement that’s now in the Bay Area water.
“Just a chance to play for a winning culture, I also have a chance to play with some of the most talented players of this era,” Cousins said. “Those two things alone pretty much sums it up.”
Cousins, who is recovering from a torn Achilles isn’t expected to play until the latter part of the NBA season. There have been several conflicting rumors on whether the big man was given a formal offer or not by any other NBA team.
“We both know the truth and I’m going to leave it at that,” Cousins said at the press conference.
When Cousins starts at center after he recovers from his injury, the Warriors line-up of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Cousins will be the most talented of all-time. Each player has been an All-Star multiple times.
“Just to put this out there, my favorite by far is Klay,” Cousins said. “For him to be as dull as he is, there’s never a dull moment. I really enjoyed my time with Klay but they’re all great guys. Me and Draymond clicked right away. We’re two goofballs that like to joke around a lot. Same thing with KD and same thing with Steph. Everybody knows he’s a goofball.”
And there’s no question the team will mesh right away. Cousins was expected to make more than $100 million in the open market, but the major injury made his value drop down to a mid-level deal.
When Myers received the call from Cousins’ agent, several thoughts went through his head and rightfully so. This move changes the landscape of the NBA even more than before as the Warriors go from favorites to win the title in 2018-19 to virtual locks.
“The way we do things is we collaborate. We wanted to hear what Steph thought. We wanted to hear Draymond, Kevin. I wanted him [Cousins] to talk to those guys and talk to our coach,” Myers said. “So prior to him talking to Steve, we had been talking and I want him on the block. We haven’t had that threat, we can give him the ball and play out of him and he said not out on the perimeter. And so Steve was about to get on the phone with DeMarcus and I said don’t tell him he can’t shoot any threes. If you let Draymond shoot threes, you gotta let DeMarcus shoot threes. So Steve said maybe one or two.”
It’s no question that Cousins’ value will sky-rocket for next offseason. He joins a team with four other All-Stars and won’t rush to come back on the court. Steve Kerr won’t start the 6’11 big man until he’s ready to play consistent minutes. Right now, Cousins just has to work on rehab and recovery.
“It’s the worst. Waking up every day and doing the same exact thing, it can drive you crazy,” Cousins said. “I’m stubborn and I love that about myself. I never quit. I’m a fighter. I feel like I could overcome anything and I continue to have that mindset.”
Off the court, Cousins has always been one to give back. He paid for the funeral of Stephon Clark, an African-American man who was shot by police in Sacramento back in March. He’s visited communities with kids who don’t have much growing up. Cousins hasn’t been able to thus far in the Bay Area, but he plans on visiting many different areas. He even had a message for the youth going through those struggles.
“Keep your head up, man. Don’t let anybody tell you what you could do in life,” Cousins said. “Every time they do, just use it as fire. Use it as fuel. You can overcome anything. Life is a mental game. If your mind is strong and you believe in yourself and believe in your mind that you can overcome it, it will happen. It won’t be a race, it won’t be a sprint. It will be a marathon, it’s a process but that’s what makes it that much greater when you do reach it because you understand what you went through to get it. If it was just given to you, you wouldn’t appreciate it as much.”
Cousins likely won’t be a Warrior past this season, but it’s already evident that he will have an impact in the Bay Area on and off the court.
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