The Sacramento Kings chose DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins fifth overall in the 2010 NBA draft. The Mobile, Alabama, native played for LeFlore High School and gained national attention when he became a first-team Parade All-American and McDonald’s All-American. Alongside John Wall, the big man played for Kentucky for one year before entering the NBA.
Cousins was ecstatic when he was drafted in the first round by the Kings. However, reflecting on his time in Sacramento now makes the center feel like a fool. Why is Cousins regretful when it comes to the Kings?
DeMarcus Cousins’ seven seasons for the Kings
The 6-foot-10 center made waves on his debut in the league as a big man. Cousins played seven seasons with the Kings, reports Basketball-Reference, averaging 21.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. While Cousins was impressive on an individual level on the court, the Kings as a whole were not.
Along with being a part of seven less than stellar season performances, Cousins struggled with maintaining a positive relationship with Kings’ coaches, teammates, and the Sacramento media. Despite this friction, Cousins repeatedly turned down trade offers. Cousins said in an interview with The Undefeated, “I guess you could say I was stubborn and loyal. I wanted to make things work.”
Despite wanting to make things work at the Kings, staying with the team turned out to be a decision outside of his hands. Cousins believed he would be playing for the Kings long term. However, on the night of the NBA All-Star Game, the Kings shocked many, including Cousins himself, by agreeing to trade him and Omri Casspi to the Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and the 2017 first and second-round draft picks.
Cousins feels like a fool
This unforeseen trade potentially lost Cousins around $30 million, as the Pelicans were eligible to sign him to a five-year, $170 million contract extension. Cousins feels like a fool for maintaining loyalty to the Kings, forgetting that the NBA is a business when it comes down to it.
Cousins relayed the message, “I kind of blame myself for even putting myself at that point,” Cousins said. “You knew coming in this was a business. How are you going to be loyal to something that ain’t even loyal to any player that’s ever played this game? I was a fool.”
He also told ESPN, “And there was plenty of times where I was a victim. But at the end of the day, it’s still on me. My biggest regret is not leaving when I had the chance. I had the chance, but I fought it. I had the chance to leave, but I didn’t.” Not leaving the Kings when he had trade offers on the table will always be one of Cousins’ biggest career regrets.
Is it over for DeMarcus Cousins?
After the big Kings trade in 2017, Cousins played two seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans and one season with the Golden State Warriors. On July 6, 2019, Cousins signed a one-year contract with the LA Lakers. However, the center tore his ACL on August 15 during preseason training. The Lakers decided to waive Cousins on February 23, 2020.
Cousins is not currently affiliated with any NBA teams. The once standout center is now experiencing a derailed career due to injury and circumstance. However, DeMarcus Cousins still has what it takes to be an NBA star. At just 29-years-of-age, Cousins has at least a few seasons ahead of him. That is if he can avoid injury. Luckily for Cousins, there are several NBA teams still interested in signing him.