Former No. 5 overall pick of the Sacramento Kings, Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins has once again demonstrated his tremendous talent and potential in the team’s victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Cousins was able to put up an impressive stat line by dropping 32 points 12 rebounds and four assists in the 124-107 victory.
Coming out of the University of Kentucky, Cousins was well-known for his basketball skills as well as his temper. However, along with John Wall, he was a vital piece to Kentucky’s success in the NCAA tournament, reaching the elite 8. After just one season, Cousins elected to declare for the NBA and shockingly dropped all the way to the fifth spot. If the 2010 Draft were to be re-drafted Cousins would likely have been selected second to fellow Wildcat, John Wall.
He now is a key piece to the Kings’ success moving forward, which rides tremendously on Cousins’ mental state. On the other hand, production has in no way been an issue during the entirety of his career. At times, Sacramento’s management has contemplated parting ways with the big man solely because of his attitude problems, which have been a detriment to the team. There is no question of Cousins’ desire to be successful, but in order to do so he must continue to work on this problem with his newest mentor and minority owner, Shaquille O’Neal.
Furthermore, mental issues aside, Boogie Cousins has proven to the league that he is one of the top-5 centers in the NBA. This season has certainly made his recent expensive contract extension worth while. The Kings’ record (25-25) may not totally reflect the impact that he has made, but the team is definitely headed in the right direction. Cousins’ is averaging 22 points per game (10th in the league) on 49 percent shooting, 12 rebounds (No. 5 in the league) and 3 assists. The one knock against him has been shot selection, but the shooting percentage appears to have steadily improved, displaying his willingness to alter his game.
What I’m trying to get at is that DeMarcus Cousins is regarded and deserves to be regarded as highly as players such as Dwight Howard, Roy Hibbert, and Joakim Noah. To get there defense must improve, but as Cousins matures so will his game. As the team becomes more and more successful, his exposure will increase too. More exposure will only allow the casual NBA fan’s opinion of Cousins as a hothead to become overshadowed by his stellar play and commitment to the team.