It’s all about enjoying the weekend and staying focused on the remaining 25 games for Cousins
As the NBA regular season goes on pause for its yearly break for All-Star weekend, NBA players get a chance to rest their bodies and their minds. For most players, the annual mid season break gives them a chance to relax and take time to themselves. But for DeMarcus Cousins, the fun continues through Sunday night here in New Orleans.
With all the rest and relaxation that is supposed to be granted to players during the break, Cousins is remaining busy and focused on solidifying a spot for the Kings in the playoffs. Winners of five of their last seven, Cousins believes that Sacramento gained traction heading into the All-Star break and that their confidence is at an all time high.
“Our confidence is through the roof right now,” Cousins said. “We’re confident that we can make a push, were playing some of the best basketball we have all season right now, and I think we’ll make it. I think we have a great chance.”
Cousins was asked what sparked the recent immediate success and how the team has gelled with one another.
“We understand each other better, you know the chemistry is coming along, it’s clicking a lot more than it was earlier in the season,” Cousins said. “We’re understanding what it takes to win games now, we’re learning the system better, we’re buying into the system more than we have, you know before. I think it’s all coming together for us right now.”
Despite all the positive energy that Cousins and the Kings have obtained heading into All-Star break, the continued image of Cousins’ antics still raise questions amongst most of the media and the NBA community.
Granted that Cousins picked up his 17th technical foul earlier this week against the New Orleans Pelicans (matching his total from all of last season), he is one more technical foul away from a second automatic one game suspension.
It would be easy for most to write off Cousins’ ability to grow mentally, but some of his former teammates are speaking up regarding the issue.
Former teammate at Kentucky and close friend of Cousins, John Wall, speaks on how the public views Cousins as being misunderstood and as a polarizing player.
“I think just because, for one he’s already bigger than everybody, he looks like a bully,” Wall said. “He just comes with a mindset and plays with intensity, he don’t back down from anybody, plays with so much emotion. Sometimes he don’t get the benefit of the doubt, when it goes the wrong way. Like certain people might get this call but he might not get it and he react a certain way. It’s just like a reputation, when you get a bad reputation everybody keeps that and hold that towards you, hopefully you get keep trying to change that around.”
Joining Wall in his praise of Cousins, ex-teammate Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics also believes that Cousins is not perceived fairly and is a complete different self than from what outsiders believe.
“He’s a great person, a great guy,” Thomas said. “Funny, he’s caring and he’s the total opposite of what people think of him. He’s a good guy, he’s a good friend of mine, a really good friend of mine.”
Wall has some similar words in which could also change the perception of Cousins.
“He’s a great person, everybody don’t see that unless you’re really around him,” Wall said. “He’s one of those people that’s all about first impressions. If you don’t give him a first impression that’s not well you’ll probably won’t talk to him ever again.”
Through all the media interviews, NBA Cares obligations and practices that Cousins is subject to attend, he’ll attempt to clear his head and prepare for the remaining 25 games of the regular season.
“This is kind of a place where you get to let your hair down and kind of not focus on your job even though we’re still doing our jobs,” Cousins said. “I’m just here to enjoy the weekend, enjoy the experience. I get to spend sometime with my family so I’ll enjoy that as well.”
Cousins begins his All-Star weekend duties tonight as he will go for the trophy in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
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