There’s no doubt maturation has been a key factor in DeMarcus Cousins’ success in the 2013-14 season. Cousins was an apparent distraction in the Kings’ locker room in his first few years. However, we’re now hearing limited drama from Cousins and the Kings. His most noticeable actions are now prohibited to the basketball court only.
New Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and company rolled the dice on a four-year, $62 million contract extension in the offseason. The organization was sure Cousins had strong potential to someday become an elite talent. The only issue that came with the 23 year-old center was his questionable attitude at times. In the past two seasons, Cousins’ attitude problems have quieted down.
We can’t know exactly what approach Sacramento’s new ownership took with DeMarcus Cousins. However, give Cousins credit for getting his act together. It’s ultimately his choice what kind of person he wants to be. When Cousins stays quiet and does his job, the Kings are much better off.
Cousins ranks fifth in the NBA in player efficieny rating with an outstanding 27.19 PER. Durant, James, Paul, and Love are the only players who rank ahead of him. That shows Cousins’ productivity has been on a whole new level this season. His numbers are fantastic all around the board: 23.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.1 blocks.
Sacramento’s young star is one of the toughest players to stop in the post. However, he’s always had a unique ability to face up and score. His combination of strength, athleticism, and awareness is doing a lot of damage on the floor. Cousins has a rare ability to dribble down the floor in transition, which nearly no other center can do.
With the acquisition of Rudy Gay, the Kings have finally started showing some promise. Now it’s a matter of how the Kings build around their All-Star center. Cousins has started to make a big impact in a league which elite centers can be considered “gold.”