DeMarcus Cousins at his press conference announcing his new contract.

It’s a busy day in Sacramento.  With media day scheduled for later this afternoon, the team squeezed in a press conference this morning to announce the signing of franchise cornerstone DeMarcus Cousins.  While the specifics of the deal are unknown at this time, the deal is rumored at four year at approximately $62 million.

Here are the highlights from the press conference.

Quotes from Cousins

  • Cousins on being a leader:  “I’ve been a leader my whole life.  It may not be the leader you guys are looking for, but I’m the leader of this team.  It’s going to take time for me to get better at it, but I believe I’m on the right path.”
  • Cousins on the new regime:  “I feel like I was wanted.  Everything they said, I believed.  What I learned about Vivek, he’s a very loyal person.  His word is truth.  I don’t doubt a word that comes out of his mouth.”
  • Cousins on Michael Malone:  “[He's] extremely aggressive, I’d say that.  He has a mind for the game and I like that.  He knows what he wants.  He knows what he wants from his team.  Defensive minded – something that hasn’t been around here a lot.  I think he’s the right coach for us.”
  • Cousins on what will happen if the team isn’t winning right away:  “That will be fine, because we have a plan and we have a goal.  We’re not expecting a championship this year, but we’re on the right path and that’s all that matters.”

Quotes from owner Vivek Ranadivé

  • Ranadivé on the extension:  “To me, this is a very, very exciting day.  I think of DeMarcus as really the prototypical, 21st century player.  He’s one of the most talented big men in the business.  A big man with skills.”
  • Ranadivé on his expectations for Cousins:  “I just want one thing from you – I want you to be the first guy in and the last guy out, because you are going to be the leader of this organization.  And he’s done that.”

Quotes from general manager Pete D’Alessandro

  • D’Alessandro on the negotiation process:  “I walked into this job with such a great young player and we said that from the beginning.  I think we were all pure in our intent, from both sides.  We all felt this was the right thing from the beginning.”

For what it’s worth, Cousins looks like he is in the best shape of his career.  Before the press conference concluded, the 23-year old center announced that he is donating $1 million to help local Sacramento families and that he will also make a contribution to Mayor Kevin Johnson’s foundation.