DeMarcus Cousins must feel some relief, despite living with his biggest regret.
The New Orleans Pelicans center told ESPN’s Marc Spears on Tuesday he regrets spending so much of his career with the Sacramento Kings. Cousins joined the Pelicans in February after six-plus seasons in Sacramento when the Kings traded him for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and first- and second-round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The Cousins trade sent shockwaves around the NBA, and he initially reacted with shock and bitterness since he believed Kings general manager Vlade Divac’s assurances he wouldn’t be traded.
Yet the intervening months have given Cousins time to reflect on his high-profile move, and his main conclusion is he should have left Sacramento two years earlier.
“My biggest regret is ‘why didn’t I leave when I had the chance?'” Cousins said.
He incidacted he could have left Sacramento when George Karl arrived as coach in February 2015 but he “fought” to stay with the team that selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
“I had the chance, but I fought it. I wanted to give it a chance. My representatives, they told me I shouldn’t stay. You know, being … guess you can say stubborn and loyal, I wanted to make things work.
“I should have left when I had the chance, and avoided it all, because they told me what would happen.”
Karl’s tenure in Sacramento lasted just over one year, but altercations between him Cousins and Cousins did much to sour the All-Star center’s relationship with the franchise.
While the Pelicans have yet to take flight with Cousins, he certainly now sounds more content with playing in New Orleans alongside fellow All-Star Anthony Davis than he did several months ago.
Cousins will return to Sacramento for the first time as a Pelicans player on Thursday night. His ESPN interview might dampen any love his former team or fans are willing to show him.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images
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