LAS VEGAS (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins perfectly summed up the potential of the Golden State Warriors.
“Scary,” he said.
The rest of the league likely agrees.
Cousins signed his contract Friday to join the two-time defending NBA champion Warriors for this coming season, one in which he’ll make $5.3 million. He isn’t sure when his surgically repaired Achilles will allow him to start playing with his new team – being ready for the start of training camp seems quite doubtful – but he can already envision what might happen when he returns to form.
“Of course it’s going to take a lot of hard work, a lot of hard work and dedication, and also a lot of sacrifice from not only myself but other guys on the team as well,” Cousins told reporters Friday night at the NBA Summer League. “That’s something that we all are aware of and that’s something we accepted already.”
When he returns, something he says he won’t do until he’s back to 100 percent, the Warriors could have a starting five composed entirely of 2018 All-Stars – Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson at guard, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green at forward, Cousins at center.
It’s mindboggling even for Warriors coach Steve Kerr to think about.
“We just felt like we didn’t have enough All-Stars,” Kerr deadpanned in an in-game interview with ESPN’s Mark Jones and Doris Burke during the Warriors’ summer league game Friday.
Kerr told the story of his meeting with Cousins and how he asked him the following first question: When seven consecutive possessions go by and Curry and Thompson take all the shots, how will you feel?
If it was a test, Cousins passed easily. He assured Kerr that wouldn’t be a problem.
“We wanted to make sure it made sense for both sides,” Kerr said.
Cousins has been an All-Star in each of the last six seasons, averaging at least 24 points per game in each of those. With the Warriors, he knows the scoring numbers will likely dip.
Again, he apparently has no problem with that. He said he can see some nights where he takes only four shots, even though that’s happened only four times in his 535-game career.
“It may be some games where I’m the leading scorer,” Cousins said. “I look at that as a positive. I don’t have to be the guy every night. I’ve always wanted a team where everything doesn’t rely on me and now I’m in that position.”
He’s going to be in playoff position as well. Cousins has never lost an NBA playoff game, because he’s never appeared in an NBA playoff game. His last postseason playing experience was with Kentucky and its run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2010.
“I’m coming in just playing my part,” Cousins said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to help this team win. Of course, I’m in a position where I’m able to play for a championship and every NBA player’s goal is to win a championship. So I’m coming in and I’ll do whatever it takes.”