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Current and Former Stars Praise DeMarcus

Posted by . 5 Comments.

Filed under Analysis, Featured, Hoops.

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Following Saturday’s All-Star practice session, which concluded with Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant setting the world record for most alternating-three-point baskets in one minute (15), All-Star players and coaches continued to rave about DeMarcus Cousins’ incredible skill-set.

The Kings rookie turned quite a few heads after pouring in 33 points in the Rookie Challenge – tying LeBron James (2004) for the fourth-highest total in the contest’s history – to go along with a game-high 14 rebounds and three steals.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant

On his impression of Cousins:

“He’s been playing well. He’s adjusting to the game. He’s learning how to pace himself throughout the game, how to play hard and (to) just play for his team. It’s difficult coming into this league as a rookie, especially at a young age and being a starter — he’s taking it head on, he’s playing hard, he’s confident and (the) sky’s the limit for him.”

On what makes Cousins difficult to guard:

“He’s just so big, just a big body. He can move. He’s very agile and mobile. His jump shot is getting better. He has a lot of moves in the post, so it’s tough to keep him off that offensive glass.”

On Cousins’ performance in the Rookie Challenge:

“He played really well. It looked like he was really focused from the beginning…This season, he’s learning every rookie goes through ups and downs and he’s (having) a great season. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future.”

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce

On his impression of Cousins:

“He (has) been really good — I think he has a huge upside. I’ve had the chance to watch him now a few times, and he reminds me of a baby Chris Webber — the way he moves on the court, the way he can knock down shots, the way he passes the ball.”

On Cousins’ performance in the Rookie Challenge:

“I actually thought it should’ve been a co-MVP between him and John Wall. I thought he really played great. It was all for the fun and the fans, but he just showed you a little bit of some of the things he’s been doing all year long.”

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki

On his impression of Cousins:

“He’s talented. He has a huge upside. He can pass. He can shoot. He can move in the post, so I really like his upside.”

On what makes Cousins difficult to guard:

“He’s a big boy — he can move, though. He can put the ball on the floor. He can shoot, so he has a whole package. If he keeps on improving, he’ll be a great player in this league.”

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo

On his impression of Cousins:

“He’s having a good season — a great season as a rookie. (If) he continues to play hard and stay humble, he’ll have a bright future.”

On the best aspects of Cousins’ game:

“The way he plays, the passion (with which) he plays the game is great for a young guy. You don’t see many young guys (who are) that passionate about playing, so you can’t knock him – he’s definitely a hard worker and he’s going to be a great talent.”

Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol

On his impression of Cousins:

“He’s a very talented player. He has potential, and he’s had very good performances.”

On the keys to continuing to grow as a young big man:

“Be dedicated, committed to improving, committed to (being) one of the best, never (settling) and (being) a winner too. You have to work in order to get yourself in a winning position.”

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard

On his impression of Cousins:

“DeMarcus has been great. I watched the (Rookie Challenge), and he’s a load down there in the paint. He had a great game…He has to be the dominant presence for his team, and he can do that.”

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh

On his impression of Cousins:

“I think he’s a talented big. He’s a big boy, and he has a lot of potential to get better. I think with his size, he can really play the center position. He has a nice soft touch, and (as) he continues to grow, he’ll be really good.”

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin

On playing alongside Cousins in the Rookie Challenge:

“DeMarcus is great. He’s huge. He’s a big body, and he knows how to use it really well. It’s fun playing with guys like that.”

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich

On characterizing Cousins and Tyreke Evans:

“They’ve displayed a lot of ability. They’re getting to learn the League, feel comfortable in the League — it’s different when you move up. Tyreke’s had a little more time, obviously, than DeMarcus does in that regard, but they’re both learning quickly and both becoming players who have to be reckoned with.”

Catching Up with a Former Kings Multi-Time All-Star

Sixteen years ago, Kings legend and Sacramento-era scoring leader Mitch Richmond captured MVP honors in the 1995 NBA All-Star Game after pouring in 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting (4-of-4 from three-point range). Friday, the six-time All-Star showed he maintains his shooting touch by knocking down two three-pointers in the opening quarter of Friday’s Celebrity Game.

Following his participation in the star-studded contest, the former Kings guard reflected on his notable career and collecting All-Star Game hardware, while also sharing sage advice for Sacramento’s promising young duo, Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins.

How did it feel to win the All-Star MVP award?

“It was a great stay. My shot was falling very well, my teammates were finding me and we won. It was just an outstanding day for (me) and the team.”

Where does the MVP award rank among your biggest career achievements?

“It’s one of the best moments (of my career). Making the Olympic team twice was a great achievement, also winning the Championship. So, all of the achievements I’ve (accomplished) – going back to winning Rookie of the Year – combine into something special.”

What were some of the highlights of your storied Kings career?

“Just perseverance — working so hard to try to get to the Playoffs, and then having the opportunity to win once we (reached the postseason).”

What are your thoughts on Sacramento’s Evans and Cousins?

“I watch them all the time, critique their games all the time — they’re very good young players.”

What kind of advice would you give them as they continue to develop?

“Just to continue to keep growing, keep learning — and they’ll be stars.”

Stay current with Kings.com/as11 for a behind-the-scenes video with Cousins featuring exclusive footage from the rookie standout’s memorable All-Star Weekend debut.

  • Pat

    Cousins is having a great year. He is much better than I expected even though I was hoping all along that the Kings would get him. The negative responses to his so called indiscretions are ridiculous. Getting suspended for a game was just another stupid move by Westphal. Cousins understanding of the game is so much better than Donte's it's a joke. No wonder playing with Greene frustrates him.

    The team should be sold to the community in the same manner as the Packers now that the Maloofs have made it clear they don't care about Sacramento. They are just a couple of spoiled, rich crybabies. When the team was doing well they were supported as well as any team in the league. Everything has gone downhill since they forced Adelman out. They still haven't had a decent coach since then. It all reflects back on them.

  • tony

    dont get to excited kings are on the move to the O.C

  • dontmove
  • Anaheim???????????

    Why are we Kings fans not being informed about the probable move to ANAHEIM. Be honest kings.com. It's even tougher learning all this from other media (ESPN) than our own.

    • AndrewNicholson

      Thank you for your question. Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof recently stated, "We are focused on improving our basketball team each day and therefore will have no further comment on our arena situation at this time." Thanks again.

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