You must admit the frame of reference processed by DeMarcus Cousins is rather limited. He’s an NBA player so what does he really know about deep-seeded animosities fans might have for teams in other professional leagues around the world.
Perhaps there’s a cricket or curling team somewhere in India or Nova Scotia that’s truly despised. Who knows, right? Maybe there’s a team out there that makes the blood of ticket-packing men and women curdle and Cousins just isn’t aware.
Still, the dude made us hit the brakes the other day when he told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols he believes the Golden State Warriors are the most hated team in sports. What made the admission even more interesting is Cousins will soon joiin the team for the first time this season.
Will he somehow make the Warriors more lovable?
Cousins would rather not be misinterpreted about this. It’s not him who hates the Warriors. He really, really loves them. They gave him $5.3 million to hang out for the 2018-19 season and here it is January and he still hasn’t played. No, he has no beef with the Dubs.
It’s everyone else in the NBA that hates the Warriors because they are the reigning two-time league championship and ownership has all the best gadgets, like The Splash Brothers, KD, Draymond, the super cool coach, Steve Kerr and now him. They are the deepest guys in the room and fans of teams that can’t be like them hate them for it.
“I don’t really pay attention to storylines,” Cousins told ESPN. “I mean, they’re (fans and opponents) are going say what they have to say. They’re going to add their opinions. We’re the most hated team in sports.”
Cousins has not played for almost a year after tearing his left Achilles last season playing for the Pelicans. Even though they realized he wouldn’t be ready to play before Friday, when he makes his debut in Los Angeles against the Clippers, the Dubs were willing to pay him and play the patient game. And Cousins was willing to take a massive pay cut (he made $18.1 million last year) as an investment in himself while doing his rehab.
The problem is a lot of NBA fans did not appreciate the Warriors adding him to their already powerful roster with the four other All-Stars.
Nichols asked Cousins if he truly believes the Warriors were hated more than the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys – her choices, not ours. He did not back down.
“Can you name another?” he said. “Well, put us up there. I would say the Warriors are for sure. You know they hate Kevin Durant. They hate me. I think the only guy they really like is Stephen Curry. Actually, they may hate him, as well. They hate Draymond Green. But I mean, it is what it is. I can’t worry about that.”
We get Green. Even Durant hates him, as we found out earlier this season. But Curry? Really? Who could hate him – other than those who have to guard him.
What’s true is, if Cousins is healthy, it’s going to make the Warriors almost impenetrable again. How is an opponent going to deal with a lineup of Cousins, Durant, Green, Curry and Klay Thompson without freaking out?
“When he’s focused, when he’s doing the little things, he’s the best big man in the game,” said Thompson. “I can’t wait ’til we get him; he adds a whole new dimension to our team. He gives us a low-block presence we haven’t had in a while, and we can throw it to him at any point to get hot. And with the floor spacing our team creates, he’s going to be a monster.”
Before he was injured last season, Cousins was averaging 36.2 minutes, 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds. Those are astounding numbers when added to what the Warriors already have in their arsenal.
“I’m back, and I’m not looking back,” said Cousins. “I’m moving forward. I’m leaving it on the floor every night. And I plan on coming back for that top spot.”
Yahoo Sports’ reported last week Cousins wanted to play a few weeks ago, but the Warriors weren’t ready to totally sign off. If they agreed, they told Cousins he’d be limited to about 10 minutes a game and that a deal-breaker for him.
Kerr said last week that Cousins would start as soon as he could put one foot ahead of the other. For the Warriors, the investment in a mini-season from him seems to be money well spent. It’s a damn bargain if he’s all the way back.
If they wanted, the Dubs could have brought Cousins back on Wednesday in New Orleans. But Cousins didn’t want to deal with the drama of making his debut from where hence he came. You figure the same would have been true had they been in Sacramento, where he played the majority of his career.
Of course, the Warriors scored 143 points to win that game. Curry had 41 with nine threes. Just wait until Cousins is there to clear more space for him.
Cousins might be right. It just doesn’t seem fair, does it?