Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

December 13, 2011
Cousins' offers old school view of free agency

After Monday's morning practice, DeMarcus Cousins offered a few interesting observations about the trend of veteran NBA superstars leaving their original teams when they become free agents and/or informing management in advance that they have no intention of re-signing when their contracts expire - thus forcing teams to pursue trades for fear of relinquishing key assets and getting nothing in return. The most high profile examples, of course, are LeBron James, Deron Williams, Chris Paul and - maybe - Dwight Howard.

But let's just say that Cousins is more in tune with Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant. Venue shopping and jumping to a big market are nowhere on his list of aspirations.

"I'm not taking jabs at anybody or anything like that," said the Kings second-year center, "but to me, that's all part of being a competitor, of being a part of this sport. If you're the star player of that team, you should want to continue.

"I mean, trying to join another - I mean, I'm not taking jabs at anybody - but to me that's kind of like taking the coward's way out. At the same time I respect you because you want to be a winner. But, me, being the type of person I am, I am wanting to lead my team. I want to stay with the group of guys I came in (into the league) with. I'm going to do what I gotta do to help my team win.

"I mean, that's how most of them (superstars) came up. They stuck with their teams til they got their chance. That's how I feel about it. Magic. Isiah Thomas .. I mean all those guys. They stuck with their teams."

The list includes Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Paul Pierce, Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton, among others, but the numbers are diminishing. (Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone didn't change zip codes until the twilight of their careers, so I'd place them in this category as well).

When I suggested to Cousins that we check back when he becomes old and wise and an unrestricted free agent, he arched his eyebrows and grinned. But similar to his game, there is something decidedly old school about him. And he's only 21.

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