By all accounts, DeMarcus Cousins is playing basketball in the wrong era. In today’s professional basketball world, perimeter players have stolen the spotlight. The traditional, back-to-the-basket, big man of your father’s NBA are basically extinct, which means teams have gone away from playing the game “inside-out.”. If your team does have one, consider yourself lucky because nowadays, it is a luxury that most teams aren’t privileged to have. Cousins, the former Kentucky star turned Sacramento King, is cut from the same cloth as those old-school big men, but with a little more flavor to his game. Over the years, he has developed an array of offensive moves that makes him a nightly problem for opposing defenses. As Cousins journeys into his third NBA season, there is not much separating him from the top of the NBA’s “big-man chain.” He knows that only a couple of guys have a legitimate case to be considered better than him at his position, and he expressed that to SI’s Sam Amick in an recent interview. Cousins is right on the cusps on being touted as one of the NBA’s elite, and he knows it.
The list of elite NBA centers is a short one: the Lakers’ Dwight Howard and Philadelphia’s Andrew Bynum. But the idea that Cousins is closing fast in the big-man race is as real as the sneer on his face when he was asked to argue on his own behalf.
“I’m not going to even speak on” who is the best big man in the game, said Cousins, who averaged 18.1 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks last season for the 22-44 Kings. “Whoever you consider the best in the game, just check my game against theirs. Go look at the game stats and you tell me.
“My game speaks for itself. Regardless of our team’s record, their team’s record, or who made the playoffs or whatever, I’m one of the best big men in this game right now.”
Cousins’ trainer, Keith Williams, believes his client has turned a corner.
“I think a light has clicked on,” he said as he sat near Cousins in his home. “It’s not as bright as we want it to be, but it’s getting there.”
Also in the interview, Cousins speaks on his USA Basketball snub, his former coach, Paul Westphal, Tyreke Evans, and his white english bulldog, Loso. It’s going to be exciting watching Boogie trying to take the NBA’s “best big man” crown. With his skill and work ethic it shouldn’t be long before he gets there.