Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins says he is loyal to his team.
Cousins never wanted to have the reputation of a player who demanded a trade, per the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones, who adds the Kings center wants to be part of the new direction the team’s management is going.
“I’m loyal to my city. That’s one thing I am. I’m loyal. That’s the biggest thing. I’m not going to give up on it.”
Jones notes Cousins’ long silence, which began when Vivek Ranadive took over as team owner on May 31, led some observers to believe he wanted out of Sacramento via a trade. Some even thought Cousins wanted to leave if he doesn’t get the maximum contract allowed under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement which is five years at $80 million.
However, he says he wants to be a Sacramento King even though he feels he hasn’t received the treatment he deserves. Jones cites Cousins’ past clashes with former Kings coaches Paul Westphal and Keith Smart as examples.
“I do want to be a King. I do.”
Cousins, who is working out at a USA Basketball minicamp with 27 other aspirants in Las Vegas, also says USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo calling him “immature” last year was “blown out of proportion.”
“I believe the whole thing was blown out of proportion. What was said between us really wasn’t as bad as it (seemed). For him to just push that aside and give me another chance, I’m very thankful for it. I’m going to come in here and make the best of my opportunity.”
Cousins averaged 17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 75 games in the 2012-13 NBA season, per ESPN stats.