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With career averages of 17.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, DeMarcus Cousins’ skill level is unquestioned. However, his fiery demeanor on the floor has led to a propensity for technical fouls and suspensions.
Clearly the maturity of Cousins is paramount to the turnaround of the moribund Sacramento franchise which is entering the 2014-15 campaign off of back-to-back 28-win seasons.
There’s an early positive training camp vibe that the 6’11” University of Kentucky product might be ready to channel his energy in the right direction.
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Cousins cites the “mindset of team” as the biggest learning experience from playing along with Sacramento teammate Rudy Gay on Team USA’s successful FIBA World Cup Championship this off season.
Cousins added, “If me and Rudy bring that (mindset of team) back, everybody else is forced to buy in. So hopefully it spreads throughout the team and we become a better team.”
“He (Cousins) is one of, if not the most talented big that I’ve ever played with or seen - up there with Kevin (Garnett) and Dirk (Nowitzki),” said Ryan Hollins who played with Garnett in Boston and Nowitzki in Dallas before toiling for the Clippers last season and signing recently with Sacramento.
“Last year he showed so much maturity on the court so now it’s that consistency -- for 82 games doing it,” Hollins continued on Day 5 of Kings training camp.
Teammate Reggie Evans acquired from Brooklyn last February shared a photo on Instagram of Cousins’ locker demonstrating a goal of just 5 technical fouls this season.
Cousins, who is entering his fifth NBA season, is clearly leaning on Evans, who is entering his 13th.
“It was Reggie’s idea. I’m completely fine with it.”
Cousins used the word “team” frequently Wednesday afternoon but he also was introspective for a moment.
“I know I’m not perfect and I probably never will be but I’m aiming to be the best leader I can be for this team.”
As reliable as Cousins is at delivering double doubles, there’s one statistical category that the Kings are hoping he can reign in - technical fouls. And it won’t be easy to forget. All he has to do is look in his locker.