SACRAMENTO -- One big name NBA player after another has decided not to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games in Rio later this summer. But Sacramento Kings star big man, DeMarcus Cousins, is having none of that. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Cousins has officially been offered a roster spot to represent his country in Brazil, which he has gladly accepted.
The 25-year-old center has traveled a long road with Team USA. In his first go around as a member of the Select Team, he drew the ire of both coaches and players for his aggressive approach. But the two-time All-Star has worked hard to improve both as a player and a teammate, even drawing rave reviews from Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo over the last few summers.
Cousins, along with Kings forward Rudy Gay, teamed up to help Team USA go 9-0 at the 2014 World Cup and take home the gold. The big man out of Kentucky averaged 9.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals, while shooting a team high 70.2 percent (33-47) from the field in 13.8 minutes a game during the tournament.
Cousins averaged a career-high 26.9 points and added 11.5 rebounds per game for Sacramento this year. Following the season, the 6-foot-11 big man underwent procedures on his feet in an attempt to alleviate a long standing tendinitis issue so he could participate in Rio. He has been working out in Las Vegas with the hopes of coming into Olympic training camp next month in prime condition.
The Olympic Games open on Aug 5 and run until Aug 21. Despite multiple players backing out, including NBA-MVP Stephen Curry, Clippers' Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge and the Pelicans' Anthony Davis, Team USA is still heavily favored to bring home gold once again.
Marc Spears of the Undefeated was first with the report.