Carmelo Anthony came out of the first day of Team USA practice in Vegas — where DeMarcus Cousins is a member of the USA Select team there to push the London-bound squad — and said this about the Kings big man of the future (via Sean Cunningham on twitter).
“He fouled the s— outta everyone.”
That didn’t impress USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo, who was blunt about it during a conference call on Saturday night after announcing the Team USA final roster.
“Show respect to players, and you get respect back,” Colangelo said. “He needs to mature as a person, as a player if he’s going to have an outstanding NBA career. So before there’s discussion about him being part of our program, he has a lot of building to do…
“He has a lot of growing up to do.”
Cousins had run ins with former Kings coach Paul Westphal but his relationship with Keith Smart appears to be better. Smart has his ear. This is different. USA Basketball is the big boys and with them Cousins will be in for tough love.
Cousins also said during the season that if put on the Select Team he thought he would make the London squad. He’s not as close as he thinks. Coach Mike Krzyzewski is big on chemistry with this team. He and Colangelo want guys who are positive, who get along, who will represent the USA well on and off the court.
Coach K was more diplomatic in suggesting that Cousins can be that guy down the line and being on the Select Team can help him get there.
“His time here, playing in this culture and against these guys, sometimes can have a positive change for the players participating,” Krzyzewski said. “It indoctrinates (younger players), gets them accustomed to playing for their country.”