DeMarcus Cousins on role with Team USA and more following mini-camp day 2

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LAS VEGAS – Day 2 of  DeMarcus Cousins’ Team USA experience is in the books.  Below, some tidbits of info following all the action at the Mendenhall Center on the campus of UNLV.

  • Cousins on his attitude: “I’m always playing with a chip on my shoulder, that’s how I got to where I am now.  It’s just me finding a way to channel it and controlling my temper.  I’m not concerned about my attitude, that’s what helps me keep moving forward.”
  • Cousins on what has been asked of him this time around for Team USA: “My job is to control the paint and board and that’s what I’m here to do.”
  • Cousins on what type of big man would compliment him best: “I love playing with Jason Thompson, don’t get me wrong, but I believe I would play better if I had a shot-blocking big.  I’m not the greatest shot blocker and I can move to the four and play my natural position.  I can balance it out either way.”
  • Cousins on Kentucky coach John Calipari, who has been in attendance both days of camp: “He’s still coaching to this day, giving me advice, telling me things I need to do on the floor and off the floor.  (The) main thing he’s telling me to just get that smile back and have fun like I used to.  Like I said, he’s still coaching me to this day.”
  • Klay Thompson on Cousins: “DeMarcus is really talented.  He’s got great touch, big body, really athletic.  He can be an All-Star one day, he’s still young.  He’s just gotta put it all together.”
  • Jerry Colangelo on Cousins in year No. 2 in the USA Basketball system: “I think he came in with a great attitude.  He’s worked extremely hard.  We’re very pleased with what we’ve seen and I hope this helps him in every way, not only with USA Basketball, but with his career as it goes forward.  And I think it’s been a real healthy thing for him.”
  • Jerry Colangelo on teaching the international game:  “We’re not trying to drill anything, we’re just trying to expose all of the players, not just Cousins, but all of them, about how the game is different, how it’s called differently, how you have to be under control all the time.  And if you look at our teams that have represented us, we haven’t had any issues with control.  Guys understood, that it might have been a bad call, you just drop the ball and get back.  Because it’s not going to do you any good.  It could cost you the game, it could cost you being ejected and it’s all about winning.  So that’s just one of the things we are trying to impress our players about.”

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also provides game day coverage for NBA.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart".