Love it or hate it and love him or hate him, DeMarcus Cousins is going to be a member of the Sacramento Kings for the foreseeable future. The 23-year-old center recently signed a four-year, $62 million extension with the Kings that locks him up until after the 2017-2018 NBA season.
As is the case with most big contracts dealt out around the leagues, there are positives and there are negative. On the positive side, Cousins is a superior basketball player with all of the talent int the world when he’s committed and engaged. On the negative side, Cousins has a history of immature behavior and issues with being neither committed nor engaged.
However, with his new deal officially being announced on Monday, Cousins did several things in his press conference and at media day that seemed to be gestures of good faith towards the city of Sacramento.
As noted by Cowbell Kingdom who covered the Kings’ media day quite thoroughly, Cousins showed up to his press conference looking noticeably fit and in-shape, like he was fully prepared for the upcoming season. Though that’s a bit cliché at this time of the year to see players coming in and people raving about their condition, that’s actually kind of a big deal for a player with the reputation of Cousins. His body already being ready for the season shows that he could be more committed this season than we have seen him before.
Continuing to extend his love to the fans, Cousins also agreed to donate $1 million to help out area families in Sacramento that are going through hardships. Cousins also pledged to give money to a foundation headed by Mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson.
In the grand scheme, I’m not sure what this means for Cousins, if I’m being wholly honest. This could mean that he’s ready to turn over a new leaf and become a leader worth that contract extension. This could also be like him saying, “I’m going to be a headache for the next five years, so here’s some charitable contributions to make you all hate me less” to the fans. If we’re being optimistic, though, let’s hope this is a sign of a new era for Cousins and, in turn, the Kings.
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