LAS VEGAS - Kings center DeMarcus Cousins said Monday afternoon without hesitation that he wants to play in Sacramento.
"I do want to be a King," Cousins said. "I do."
Cousins discussed the Kings for the first time publicly after Team USA minicamp practice at Mendenhall Center on the UNLV campus.
He had been mum on the Kings since the change in ownership and makeover of the front office and coaching staff. Cousins has since spoken with new majority owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D'Alessandro and head coach Michael Malone on more than one occasion.
"I'm super excited where this franchise is headed," Cousins said. "I'm glad to be a part of it."
Cousins has been called the cornerstone of the franchise by Ranadive.
"It's something I already knew, but I'm glad it's being said," Cousins said. "So I'm going to take my opportunity and I'm going to do my (darn) best to lead this team to this win."
The question of the offseason has been whether Ranadive and D'Alessandro were ready to pay Cousins to be the face of the franchise.
Cousins is eligible for contract extension this summer and his agent, Dan Fegan, would like that deal to be the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement, five years at approximately $80 million.
The deadline for an extension is Oct. 31.
Cousins said contract talks were not on his mind.
"I'm not really focused on that," Cousins said. "I'm just focused on USA."