If there’s anything that we know around the KSR compound, it’s the unparalleled pressure that comes with being the best. It might surprise you, but we’re regarded as the best lawyer-run Kentucky sports site (ridiculous category) on the internet and the struggle that comes with maintaining that reputation is fierce. According to Jason King at Rivals, top basketball prospects often feel the same pressure and some of them deal with it better than others. King’s article starts out by chatting with Quincy “He Hate Me” Miller, but takes an interesting twist when quoting DeMarcus’ Cousins’ mother, Monique (good name), about how well he handled being a top prospect:
DeMarcus Cousins didn’t.
Cousins — the former Kentucky star who was the fifth overall selection in this summer’s NBA draft — was a high school freshman when a recruiting service anointed him with the No. 1-ranking in his class.
“As soon as he went to No. 1 … it all went downhill after that,” Cousins’ mother, Monique, said in February. “People came up to me and said, ‘Your life is about to change.’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ We didn’t have a clue. So many problems started coming up.”
Indeed, Monique said shoe companies began calling her home. When Cousins turned down offers to join rival summer programs he started getting trashed on the AAU circuit.
Worst of all, Monique said, were the vicious fouls her son received during games by opponents hoping to show up the most high-profile player in the country.
“You have a target on your back and you don’t know who to trust,” she said. “In the end you just stick [close] to the people that you know and pray the rest of the way.”
A good article from a very good writer on a slooooooow Saturday afternoon.