Going off the road can sometimes be brutal for players in the league, and the big names on the circuit are no exception to this observation. A star of the parquet floors has also launched a big call for franchises recently, he who is still without a contract. It’s hard not to be moved.
After having been rather good on the side of the Nuggets like the Bucks last season, one would have thought that DeMarcus Cousins would not have too much trouble finding a new base. If he no longer has the level of play to be a starter, the pivot has proven to be quite effective when coming off the bench in a relay Giannis Antetokounmpo or even Nikola Jokic. And yet, the former Kings superstar is still a free agent as 2022-23 is about to begin.
It must be said that despite his qualities on the field, the big man has a huge injury history, but also and above all an inglorious reputation in the locker room which dates in particular from his first years in Sacramento. The player is perfectly aware of this, but he wants to do everything so that his image with the leaders can change. Interviewed by Yahoo Sportshe therefore held a long plea in his favour, playing on emotion and maturity:
DeMarcus Cousins still without a contract
Did I make mistakes? Absolutely. Did I do things the wrong way? Absolutely. I am sorry for that. But I did even more things the right way and I did even more positive things versus negative things. I don’t want these positives to be overlooked. And obviously, when the negatives outweigh the positives, you should probably stay away from that player. It’s life that wants it. But I don’t think I’m in that category. I’m just asking for a chance to show my evolution as a man and as a player.
I think the misperception of me is that I’m this angry monster who bullies people, punches people, is uncoachable, and is a cancer in the locker room. I think this is all wrong. I played for coach John Calipari, a legendary coach. I was more than coachable. Steve Kerr could attest to that and Coach Malone too. Of course, you can always talk about my time in Sacramento. I was a young kid. I was still discovering this profession. I didn’t know a lot of things. I handled a lot of things wrong, but I also learned from those mistakes.
I realize I’m not the franchise player I was when I was younger. I accepted it. I understand this job. I understand how things work. I don’t ignore it. So whatever role I am given, I will gladly do it to the best of my abilities. Obviously, as a competitor, I always want to reach for the stars, but I’m going to do what I’m asked to do. And whether I start, come off the bench, or have to be at the end of the bench standing up to encourage my teammates, I will do it. Everything that’s necessary. I’m ready to do whatever it takes to win.
It would mean everything to me to be back in the NBA. I know I belong in this league. I feel like I’ve proven myself and earned my stripes. I’ve struggled with injuries and have always worked to get back to 100% fitness. I worked like crazy to get there. I just want the opportunity to show the work that I have done and continue to do. I also want to have the opportunity to earn my place, that’s all I want. I have plenty left in the tank. Enormously.
On the verge of despair after a summer in which he was snubbed by everyone, DeMarcus Cousins decided to play his all in this interview. There is reason to be sad for the person concerned, who has recovered rather well after the first years when he was a real hothead.