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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

DeMarcus Cousins

Lakers could reunite with 4-time All-Star

Rob Pelinka at a press conference

Jun 6, 2022; El Segundo, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka speaks before introducing head coach Darvin Ham at UCLA Health Training Center Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking for ways to bolster their frontcourt with Anthony Davis sidelined indefinitely, and they are reportedly planning to give DeMarcus Cousins a close look.

Cousins is expected to work out for the Lakers at some point next week, according to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes.

NBA teams can officially sign players to 10-day contracts as of Thursday. Haynes says that Cousins, who spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets last season, has been working out six days a week in hopes of earning another opportunity.

Cousins finished last season with Denver, averaging 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds across 31 games. There was talk back in November that the 32-year-old might sign with an unexpected team, but his focus has clearly been elsewhere.

Cousins signed with the Lakers before the 2019-20 season but tore his ACL during an offseason pick-up game. That was one of several lower-body injuries the four-time All-Star has dealt with in the latter part of his career.

Warriors GM reveals interesting talk he had with controversial ex-player

Bob Myers holding a microphone

May 20, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers addresses the media in a press conference after naming Steve Kerr (not pictured) as the new head coach for the Warriors at the Warriors Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers recently had an interesting conversation with one of the team’s former players.

Myers appeared this week on SHOWTIME’s “All The Smoke” podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. During the interview, Myers revealed that got a notable recent call from ex-Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins, who remains unsigned to this point of the NBA season.

“DeMarcus Cousins called me a month ago and he said, ‘Why am I not in the NBA?’” said Myers, per HoopsHype. “And I said, ‘You want that answer? … Because people are afraid of how you’re going to act.’ He’s like, ‘Why?’ and I said, ‘Well whatever the reason is, it’s here now.’ And I like DeMarcus. You guys may know him. He’s just, I can’t blame him for him because of all he’s been through.”

Myers and the Warriors took a chance on Cousins in 2018 following his Achilles tear. The two-time All-NBA selection helped the Warriors make another NBA Finals appearance but was not particularly dominant in Golden State and failed to secure a second contract with the team.

Cousins’ career then took another hit when he suffered a torn ACL in 2019. Despite stops with four subsequent NBA teams, he never truly returned to form. Now Cousins is older (32), and with his extensive injury history and his reputation as a locker room malcontent, it is difficult to envision him ever returning to the NBA.

That is a tough fall from grace for a player who was arguably the most dynamic center on the planet at one point in time. But the silver lining for Cousins is that he may be able to continue his basketball career elsewhere.

DeMarcus Cousins to sign with unexpected team?

DeMarcus Cousins smiling

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Cousins may be back on the court soon, albeit a different court than the one that we are used to seeing him on.

Duncan DeAeth of Taiwan News reports this week that the four-time NBA All-Star center Cousins is in negotiations to sign with a team in Taiwan’s T1 League. DeAeth notes that there has been no confirmation to this point from either the T1 League or Cousins about a potential signing but that Cousins may reportedly join a team based in southern Taiwan (either the Tainan TSG Ghosthawks or the Kaohsiung Aquas).

Once arguably the most dominant center in the NBA at his peak, Cousins, now 32, has been felled by a laundry list of lower-body injuries in the latter part of his basketball career. He last played for the Denver Nuggets in the 2021-22 NBA season, averaging 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Cousins recently expressed interest in joining an unlikely former NBA team of his, but that has yet to come to fruition at this point. If Cousins does end up playing in Taiwan, he would be joining fellow ex-All-NBA center Dwight Howard, who arrived in Taiwan earlier this month and has been putting up some ludicrous stat lines.

H/T Legion Hoops

DeMarcus Cousins eyeing surprising reunion with former team

DeMarcus Cousins smiling

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

In a year in which Tom DeLonge has already returned to Blink-182, another improbable reunion may be upon us.

Former four-time All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins indicated this week in a post to his Twitter page that he is interested in returning to his old team, the Sacramento Kings. Cousins was replying to a suggestion from Kings writer Carmichael Dave that the team bring in Cousins as a backup big.

“Would love to help sac get back to the playoffs,” Cousins wrote, along with a praying-hands emoji.

The Kings have gone 3-6 to kick off the new NBA season. While Domantas Sabonis is playing well as the starting center, Sacramento is getting next to nothing out of backup 5s Richaun Holmes, Chimezie Metu, and Alex Len (none of whom are averaging more than four points per game).

The 32-year-old Cousins, who remains unsigned, was drafted by the Kings back in 2010 and was an All-NBA talent in Sacramento. But his time with the Kings was checkered (to put it lightly) as Cousins had multiple issues with the organization (including with Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who is still in charge of the franchise). After Sacramento unceremoniously traded Cousins in 2017, it looked like that bridge was torched for good. Some five-and-a-half years later though, that may no longer be the case.

George Karl finally burying hatchet with 1 prominent player?

George Karl on the sideline

Mar 15, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl reacts during an NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Lakers 106-98. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Furious George may not be nearly so furious any more.

Four-time All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins had a candid interview this week with Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports in which he admitted to mistakes during his NBA career but said that he has learned from them and is hoping for another shot. You can read Cousins’ full interview with Haynes here.

George Karl, who was Cousins’ coach on the Sacramento Kings, surprisingly came out with a supportive message in response to Cousins’ interview.

“DeMarcus is, hands down, one of the most talented players I’ve ever coached and a valuable part of the right team’s bench still today,” wrote Karl. “Hope you find a good fit @boogiecousins.”

That is an unexpected sentiment from Karl, who prominently feuded with Cousins throughout their time in Sacramento. The two were only together for one-and-a-half seasons, but they got into multiple confrontations. Karl reportedly pushed the Kings to get rid of Cousins, who was the team’s star player at the time, before getting fired in 2016. Cousins was then traded by Sacramento several months later.

The bad blood lingered for years afterwards with Karl even taking public shots at Cousins as recently as last April. But Karl’s latest message here seems genuine, especially since he commented only on Cousins’ talent. Maybe their longstanding beef is finally over.

DeMarcus Cousins goes after another one of his old teams

DeMarcus Cousins smiling

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

After giving the Sacramento Kings the middle finger, DeMarcus Cousins has another one ready for another former team of his.

The Denver Nuggets center Cousins spoke in a wide-ranging interview this week with SI’s Chris Mannix. In the interview, Cousins went after the Houston Rockets, whom he played for during the 2020-21 season.

“It was horrible,” he said of his time in Houston. “A lot of teams will promise you one thing, will tell you something in your face, and when the time comes around, no phone calls, they go silent. They tell you one thing and then tell your agent another. It’s just a lot of bulls—. There’s a lot of bulls— in this business, and in my eyes, a lot of it’s unfair. But it is what it is.”

Cousins touches on many other subjects in the Mannix interview, including contemplating retirement before finding a home with the Nuggets this year. You can read the interview in full here.

The 31-year-old Cousins signed a one-year deal with Houston in 2020 but lasted just three months and 25 appearances before being waived. Mannix’s story also characterized Cousins’ Rockets tenure as “rock bottom” for the four-time All-Star.

Cousins is an emotional player but one who can still contribute to winning basketball despite suffering many serious injuries in the past. He has made some enemies over his career though, as we saw a big example of recently.

Will Barton gives his side of confrontation with teammate DeMarcus Cousins

Nuggets teammates have a confrontation

The Denver Nuggets came apart at the seams during their Game 2 loss to the Golden State Warriors, and Will Barton had to explain himself afterwards.

Heading into a timeout in the second half of Monday’s first-round playoff contest, Nuggets guard Will Barton got into it with teammate DeMarcus Cousins on the sideline, and the two had to be separated.

Another angle showed Nuggets forward Jeff Green having words for Barton as well.

Barton had spent most of the game to that point yelling at his teammates on the floor. One particular sequence saw Barton visibly upset after a Steph Curry three-pointer towards the end of the first half.

The Nuggets would go on to lose the game 126-106 to fall into an 0-2 hole in the series. After the game, Barton shared his side of the Cousins incident.

“Nothing, just some goofy s–t that I can’t even entertain,” said Barton of the episode, per HoopsHype. “Just some goofy s–t that happened on the bench that I shouldn’t even entertain. We can’t let that happen in a series, in a playoffs, in a game. I gotta be better than that.”

While Barton has been with the Nuggets since 2015, this is his first season as teammates with Cousins, who just signed with Denver in January. Cousins has a reputation as a bit of a rabble-rouser, but he is apparently very well-liked by most of his Nuggets teammates. Monday’s confrontation seemed like frustration boiling over on Barton’s part more so than anything.

George Karl fires back at DeMarcus Cousins over criticism

George Karl on the sideline

Mar 15, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl reacts during an NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Lakers 106-98. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

George Karl coached DeMarcus Cousins for a brief time with the Sacramento Kings, and the former coach did not appreciate the recent comments Cousins made about the franchise.

In an interview with Marc J. Spears that was published on Monday, Cousins said one of his career regrets is not skipping his pre-draft workout with the Kings. The veteran big man wishes he snubbed Sacramento prior to the 2010 NBA Draft to discourage them from picking him. Why? Cousins says the Kings are a losing franchise who “sucked” before he got there, when he was there, and after he left.

Cousins spoke about how many different coaches he had during his time in Sacramento. He also asked what team ever did for him. Karl provided an answer to that question.

Karl and Cousins did not get along during their time together with the Kings. It was obvious that Karl wanted nothing to do with the four-time All-Star. The two have not smoothed things over since, and this is not the first time Karl has thrown shade at Cousins publicly.

Cousins is certainly right that the Kings have been a losing franchise for a long time. You can understand why he feels like a portion of his career was wasted in Sacramento.

DeMarcus Cousins offers harsh comments about former team

DeMarcus Cousins smiling

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Cousins offered some extremely harsh comments about one of his former teams.

Cousins is currently with the Denver Nuggets, which is the second team for whom he has played this season (Milwaukee was the other). Cousins also played for two seasons before that.

Even though he is now on his seventh team, there was a time when Cousins was a franchise player. That was a while ago.

From 2010-2017, Cousins was a center for the Sacramento Kings, averaging double-doubles and making 3 All-Star Games. But Cousins also faced criticism and disciplinary issues while in Sacramento and eventually was traded to the Pelicans.

It’s safe to say that there is no love lost between Cousins and his first NBA team.

In an interview with Marc J. Spears published on Monday, Cousins said if he could re-do one thing in his career, it would have been skipping his pre-draft workout for the Kings so they wouldn’t have drafted him.

“I would’ve skipped my draft workout [in Sacramento],” Cousins told Spears when asked what he would have done differently in his career.

Cousins offered more harsh opinions on the Kings.

“They sucked before I got there. They sucked when I was there. They sucked after I left,” he said of the Kings.

Sacramento has struggled since their strong teams around the 2000s under Rick Adelman. They haven’t made the playoffs since the 2005-2006 season, so it’s not like Cousins is wrong. There was also acrimony between Cousins and the Kings by the time his tenure with the team ended, which is part of the reason he dislikes them so much.

Sacramento cycled through different owners, general managers, and coaches during Cousins’ time there. They have continued to make curious moves, like firing Michael Malone and Dave Joerger as head coaches.

Cousins’ career went downhill after leaving Sacramento, but that’s because he tore his Achilles’ tendon, which led to other leg injuries. He has found a nice home in Denver. Even if he’s a bench player now, the 31-year-old center is probably happy to no longer deal with the Sacramento dysfunction.

Referee Scott Foster gave DeMarcus Cousins a quick ejection

Scott Foster ejects a player

Does NBA referee Scott Foster have it out for Denver Nuggets center DeMarcus Cousins? It’s hard to say for sure, but their history certainly has some fans publicly questioning it.

The conspiracy theories weren’t quelled on Saturday night, either. In fact, even more fuel was added to the fire when Foster was quick to hit Cousins with a technical foul and subsequent ejection early in the fourth quarter.

The hook came immediately after Cousins was slapped with another technical for allegedly yelling at one of the officials. When he protested, Foster sent him to the showers without hesitation.

“It happened right in front of me,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said after the game, via ESPN. “I did not see or hear DeMarcus do anything from my vantage point that would have required a [first] technical foul to be called. And the ensuing one, I guess Scott Foster said he said a few choice words which warranted the second technical foul.

“Again, I did not see or hear anything for that first tech. That is something that we can look at and maybe speak to the league about, because from my vantage point, just didn’t seem warranted.”

Foster also famously ejected Cousins in 2018 when the big man was inactive and on the Golden State Warriors’ bench.

Cousins has a somewhat negative reputation and that may have factored into Foster’s decision as well. However, there’s no denying their unique history and that raises an eyebrow. Or two.