LAS VEGAS - Though he plans to stick around to watch the Kings first few games in the upcoming Summer League, DeMarcus Cousins' weeklong experience with the USA men's Select Team ended today. And let's just say that, while it started poorly, it ended well. NBA and USA Basketball types were very complementary of the Kings center.
Here are the final thoughts on the 6-foot-11, 290-pound Cousins from Select Team coach Jay Triano: "He's a super talent. He can make shots. He gets rebounds. I told him that if he ever gets to where's he's in great shape, running the floor, there's no reason he wouldn't get be able to get 15 to 20 rebounds a game. He just has a knack for eating up space and he has a knack for the ball. If you get that many rebounds a game, you find yourself in double-digit scoring, too."
Cousins reiterated his desire to compete on future national teams, with an eye on the 2014 FIBA World Championships. "If it happens, I will gladly accept," he said. "If not, I had run. I improved every day. Overall, it was a good experience. Today went well. Another competitive day. We battled Olympians."
There will be more on this topic in the future, but these last few days in particular, it sounds like Cousins really turned some heads. Or, changed some minds. The Kings star increasingly sought out Kobe, LeBron and the other Olympians as the week progressed, seeking their counsel and establishing relationships. One USAB official told me that Cousins' talent and his progress throughout the week was a major dinner topic conversation on Tuesday.